At the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem, I was transfixed by the mountainous piles of dates I saw, lustrous, dark, and sticky. To be sure, we'd seen dates wherever we went in Israel, but the ones at that market seemed particularly glossy and fragrant, just itching to be bought. They bewitched me in the end.
I bought two sacks of dates. One was filled with the darkest, fattest, juiciest dates I'd ever seen. They promptly got squashed in my luggage and are now a fudgy lump that I have to gingerly pry apart, but when I do, I'm rewarded with soft, yielding fruit that melts in my mouth. The second bag was filled with caramel-colored dates, slightly wrinkled, and hardier than their brethren. They are not the sensuous joy to eat than the other ones are, but they have great flavor, so I think I might cook with them instead.
Shall I make a Sticky Toffee Pudding? Or this Date-Nut Loaf? Am I missing out on your favorite date recipe? Do you have to tell me about it, quick, before I go wasting those dates on something not worthy enough? Hurry, tell me what to do!