There’s nothing like going on a fabulous date. Now I know we’ve all been on some bad ones. However, this summer I’m tipping my hat to another kind. There’s one little gem who will never fail you. She’ll never make you wait, and she’ll always leave you asking for a second encounter, then a third, until you’re absolutely smitten.
I’m talking about natures perfect candy, gloriously packed with vitamins, fiber, and that certain sweetness that can even compliment meat, and just about any occasion. A date.
I grew up in Indio California. Snugly nestled near Palm Springs and Coachella Valley, it’s often a town one drives through to get to the coveted Orange County area that boasts of cooler weather and gorgeous beaches. Indio does have its decent share of low riders, pit bulls, and palm trees, and wears a unique badge all its own; its is the “Date Capital of the World.” (Sadly Indio stands in the shadow of its much cooler neighbor, Coachella for the Coachella Music Festival.) As one drives through the dusty dry valley, miles of date trees soak up the sun. I distinctly remember the way the sunset looked against the solid army of date trees. At certain times of year, they would be full of paper bags around each bulb to catch the fruit, like desert Christmas trees.
As a kid however, I found these ugly brown things to be rather annoying. Boxes and boxes, endless mountains if dates were in our kitchen at certain times of year. And the desire for a big bowl of ice cream always sounded more appealing when my mom would say “No, if you want a snack, there’s plenty of dates.” At 8 years old I just couldn’t appreciate a date shake, and was always confused by the sign that read, “experience the love and sex life of a date,” (complete with a cartoon date waving at cars full of uninterested Mexicans.) I still don’t think I understand this. Like most kids, my palate began to change after a few years. After moving across the country, and the globe, the flavor of a date is still unparalleled in it’s carmel-like sweetness.
Try stuffing them with mint and manchego cheese, and wrapping them in prosciutto. Finish them off in the oven, and you will NOT be disappointed.
Much love from a date.