A couple of weeks ago I stumpled on some rather scrumptious looking organic Israeli dates at my local super market. They looked like something I absolutely had to buy. So I did, initiating my little date enlightenment project. My relationship with dried fruits are fairly new so the discovery that there exist different varieties of dates sort of took me by surprise. I did a little research and discovered that actually, there’s a whole lot of different dates around.
I soon realized that what I was after was the medjool date. Also known as King Salomon these babies are the king of dates. Just the name pretty much did it for me invoking all the smells and sights of the Middle Eastern cuisine. Of course I found them at my favorite green grocer, just known around town as The king. This guy was voted the best green grocer in the country last year and how can anyone compete with going to Rungis, the Paris food mecca, every week for fresh deliveries of French garlic (he stocks three different kinds!), extravagant Spanish navel oranges etc., and at the same time carrying phenomenal regional produce, among other things my favorite apple quinces. Of course The king carries medjool dates, so I walked away happily awaiting if they would live up to my expectations.
Oh, did they ever! The Israeli ones (I don’t know the varietal name) were great, no doubt about that, but the Medjools were even better. Not overpoweringly sweet, more along the lines of moscovado sugar with its hints of caramel and spices, butterlike in consistency and big enough to constitute a substantial snack. I was hooked and might just have to stock up on these for the Holidays.