Date With A Date
Hadley Orchards is just outside Indio, California on Interstate 10. I went there once a year as a teen on my way to an annual horse show. The food highlight was a thick, creamy date shake, or should I say several date shakes each trip.
Date shakes were mostly forgotten until a trip to the desert a few weeks ago where I was reacquainted with the medjool and introduced to the bahri date.
Barb, my desert host kept carrying on about the bahri’s buttery soft texture. Dates I’ve had are medium firm or dried and not something I’d snack on. She was eating them like candy, I was thinking to myself, you’ve got to be kidding!
She finally got me to try one the last morning and oh my gosh! A recently harvested date, at least a medjool or bahri is like nothing you’ve experienced. They remind me of chocolate truffles only softer with caramel and vanilla butteriness, oozing ambrosial flavor.
Couldn’t resist. I picked up a pound at the Borrego Springs farmers market that morning (and since then wish I’d picked up ten). The plan was to stuff each date with sausage or blue cheese, wrap in prosciutto or bacon then fry. A very common thing to do but oh so good.
From Borrego, onto Rancho Mirage visiting friends who have a date palm in their yard. Dianne sent me home with this bag of dates.
They’re a different, more firm type require processing to soften for eating. I think they’re the noor variety but I’m not one hundred percent certain.
If you don’t like the date fruit, give another try. Turns out Whole Foods Market in Sacramento has fresh medjool dates in stock now. I only hope they are as good as my Fernandez Dates from the Coachella Valley- only one more left from my pound.
Keep a lookout for recipes that include dates- and feel free to share yours!