One of my favorite fruits is dates.  There are many different types, of course, but in my mind there are few things that are more of a treat to eat than a date.  Last week, Tawn’s boss was in Abu Dhabi for work.  When she returned, she gave Tawn this beautiful gift box.


Opening the box, we found a kilogram of fresh dates.  Fat, plump, sweet dates.  What a thoughtful gift.  These are segai dates, which often develop a light patch near the top of date and are grown in Saudi Arabia.  In fact, there are more than two dozen varieties of dates sold by this company, Bateel.


My appreciation of dates started in childhood, when during one spring break we drove to Southern California on vacation, spending a day at the Indio Date Festival (now the Riverside County Fair and Date Festival) in Indio, California.  Camel races, date shakes, date ice cream, displays on dates – it was a regular date-o-rama.

We also drove to Twenty-nine Palms, then down by the Salton Sea, and walked across the border into Tecate, Mexico during the afternoon siesta, then continued to San Diego later in the week.  Not many things I remember from the trip, but I do remember the Date Festival!