Get your Free Dates here! Have you ever walked into a grocery store and saw a decorative box of fresh medjool dates by the fruit section. Being an avid Costco Warehouse Store Shopper I thought these boxes of dates where samples and always made sure to grab one or two. It wasn’t until I sampled a date in front of another shopper that it was pointed out to me that the dates where $8.79 a pound and that I really should be more thoughtful being that a bag of 1 pound of dates was equivalent to about 15 dates. I was so mortified for the first 15 seconds and then I sprang into laughter over the whole date ordeal. I thanked the customer for educating me on the fact that the dates where for sale, and remarked at how surprised I was given that the price was not directly over the box, but written off to the side. The shopper really didn’t believe my excuse but walked on.
I must have eaten at least 3 pounds of free dates over the past year, being that I always grabbed 2 for me and one each for my 2 children. How horrific I felt; yet I did it with innocence never once thinking that I was …STEALING. Wow, I was stealing dates! The worst part of it was that my mother and father in law where date farmers, why if I really wanted to eat great quality medjool dates all I had to do was drive down a few miles into the Coachella Valley to the families date farm and get a whole box of my own, for free.
Later that very week I was at my favorite Costco when I noticed this elderly lady in the refrigerator department sampling wild berries. Sampling was really to kind a word considering she had nearly devoured half the box. It was $8.99 for the box. I was truly mortified. When it hit me, my eating the medjool dates was just as bad an offense as hers. Although I am sure she was aware you are not supposed to be doing that, and at the time I really believed the box was for sampling dates. I must admit I was embarrassed to return to the grocery store that I had eaten so many medjool dates from. This lady who appalled me was a reflection of my self to the shopper who was brave enough to correct me.
I told my husband what had happened and he was even more appalled at my ignorance of dates and their value. Thus began the three hour lecture on the value of a date and why they are so costly. Since then he has had me blogging and studying the medjool date and other dates because he firmly believes we will one day take over that date farm.
Today I am no expert on dates, by far. The truth is dates have a truly rich extraordinary history. Cultivating the date has so many tricks of the trade and requirements that I still am a newbie to the industry. One thing however is clear, I now know that those pretty little boxes of dates are for sale, not sampling. The store manager refused my box of dates and refused payment understanding why I had felt the way I did. Today when I walk into that grocery store the dates are clearly marked for sale, my question is, why didn’t they do that before instead of putting the price off to the side and not giving it its own corner space like every other fruit in the market. Dates are special and they need to be treated as such. But then again, had it not been for the grocery stores date mistake, I would have never had had the privileged of truly understanding and respecting the date.