Friday, January 13, 2012

Boutique dates!

In the basement supermarket at lotte next to ratu plaza I came across a peculiar thing. A date stand.

Arranged under glass on platters like fine chocolate truffles were at least 2 dozen types of Saudi date

Ive always loved dates from when I was a child but all I've ever had available to me were imported pitted Iranian dates or in recent years the soft Californian medjool date.

But here in front of me is a range of colours shapes and sizes, like a candy store, for dates
They come in all tones, short and long

One type stood out for it's price, the Ajwa variety, and something about being planted and eaten by the Mohammed the founder of Islam.
This humorous and enjoyable site explores some Islamic medical beliefs

And had this to say of the Ajwa date;

Eating seven dates, specifically of Ajwa variety is supposed to build up immunity for for all sorts of poisons (Arsenic, Strychnine and Cyanide?).
Narrated Sad: Allah's Apostle said, "He who eats seven 'Ajwa dates every morning, will not be affected by poison or magic on the day he eats them."
Sahih Bukhari 7:65:356
Narrated Saud: The Prophet said, "If somebody takes some 'Ajwa dates every morning, he will not be effected by poison or magic on that day till night."
Sahih Bukhari 7:65:66

I didn't try it. Maybe I wasn't in a holy mood, maybe I wanted to avoid offending the eager Muslim salesgirl if i didn't like them!

So I tried a couple of others. Quite good. I think I'll be working my way through their selection in the next 2 months and reviewing their dates!

As a gardener I was happy to find the dates contain seeds. I've germinated Californian medjool dates before quite easily and so I imagine ill be sending home quite a few carefully labelled and cleaned bags of date seeds for trial.
I don't believe timescale is a factor in viability as a 2000 year old judaean date seed was germinated 5 years ago and is nearing fruiting age!
I just hope the Saudis haven't messed with the dates to kill the seed!
I'd like to taste a fresh Ajwa one day...maybe make some date wine :)

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