A Date With Dates - Eats and Treats by Tania Rebello
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Tiny bite - sized morsels packed with nutrition and sweetness; dates are a fruit known to all of mankind. Interestingly, dates are one of the oldest known fruits that existed prior to the Biblical times.
Did you know that the word ‘date’ comes from the Greek word ‘daktylos’, meaning finger, because a date looks like the tip of a finger.
Date palms grow best in Mediterranean region. Dates were first known to be cultivated in the fertile land between Egypt and Mesopotamia over 5,000 years ago.
Unlike several other trees, date palms can grow in hot and dry conditions.
This superfood has been a staple in the diet of people of the Middle Eastern region for centuries as they are bursting with essential vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates.
They are also a good source of iron and can be used as a natural sweetener. Their fiber content helps you to get rid of hunger pangs within minutes.
Four dates can give you up to 15% of your daily vitamin and mineral requirement.
The fascinating thing about dates is that they can be stored for indefinite periods once they are plucked and dried. As you know, thousands of years ago, there were no automobiles.
People had to travel on foot or by camels, donkeys or horses.
These journeys took a long time ranging from days to months. Dates were a trustworthy food to carry on long journeys as they did not spoil.
Egypt is the highest producer of dates with approximately 15 million tonnes produced per year while Saudi Arabia ranks second with over 7 million tonnes.
Bahrain produces 13,000 tonnes and is gearing up to produce more.
There are over 200 varieties of dates that are grown in different parts of the world.
Although each variety looks different, their nutritional value is the same.
Today, this delicious bite of goodness has gained popularity in the Western world due to its nutritional content and sweet attributes.
Thousands of delicious preparations have been created using dates.
One common and rather easy way of enjoying dates is by stuffing them with nuts and coating them in chocolate.
For the more adventurous home cooks, sticky toffee pudding is a lovely dessert that everyone can enjoy. So, which recipe are you going to attempt?