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By Nawal Nasrallah

In Dates, Nawal Nasrallah attracts on her event of growing to be up within the lands of historic Mesopotamia, the place the date palm was once first cultivated, to discover the heritage in the back of the fruit. Dates have a major function of their arid fatherland of the center East, the place they seem to be a nutritional staple and will be ate up clean or dried, as a snack or a dessert, and are even notion to have aphrodisiac qualities.    

 

In this heritage, Nasrallah describes the important function the date palm has performed within the financial system of the center East. This informative account of the date palm’s tale follows its trip from its land of beginning to the far-flung areas the place it's cultivated this day. alongside the way in which, Nasrallah weaves many desirable and funny anecdotes that discover the etymology, background, tradition, faith, myths, and legends surrounding dates. for instance, she explains how the tree got here to be a logo of the Tree of lifestyles and linked to the fiery phoenix fowl, the recognized old goddess Ishtar, and the moon, and the way the medjool date bought its name.

 

This pleasant and weird publication is generously illustrated with many appealing photos, and supplemented with greater than a dozen scrumptious date recipes for savory dishes, candies, and wine.

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Extra info for Dates: A Global History

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These thorns are very strong and might cause serious injury. Nature bestowed them on the date palm as weapons for self-defence. According to popular Muslim tradition, Satan was to blame for these thorns. The story goes thatafter God created Adam, he asked him to clip his hair and fingernails and bury them. Immediately, a beautiful fully-grown date palm laden with ripe dates sprang from the ground to nourish Adam in the Garden of Eden. At this miracle, Adam fell prostrate in adoration and started worshipping God.

Nature itself can sometimes be an enemy, even in the most favourable zones. Unusual extreme drought may occurin the oases districts. Sandstorms can spoil the dates as the sand speckles stick to the maturing fruits. Unseasonal humidity or cool weather, which can occur in Tunisia, Algeria and California, or rain in areas exposed to the monsoon, as in Punjab, will definitely harm the fruit as it will not ripen properly or will rot and go to waste. Unexpected snow storm in Palm Springs in the desert area of southern California, around the beginning of the 20th century.

As early as the 1920s, mechanisms to fumigate and pasteurize the dates and steam them to add gloss and improve their appearance were introduced to Basra, the centre for growing dates in Iraq at the time. Before Algeria and Tunisia started packaging their own deglet noor dates, the dates used to be exported to Marseilles, where they were packaged and re-exported to Europe. A package of ma’moul pastries, filled with excellent Saudi dates, as the label boasts. In their dry preserved form, excellent date varieties, called dessert dates, are carefully and attractively packaged whole and complete with seeds, unless they are filled with nuts.

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