By Nawal Nasrallah
In Dates, Nawal Nasrallah attracts on her adventure of becoming up within the lands of historical Mesopotamia, the place the date palm was once first cultivated, to discover the background at the back of the fruit. Dates have an incredible position of their arid place of origin of the center East, the place they seem to be a nutritional staple and will be fed on clean or dried, as a snack or a dessert, and are even inspiration to have aphrodisiac qualities.
In this background, Nasrallah describes the principal position 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 foundation to the far-flung areas the place it truly is cultivated this present day. alongside the best way, Nasrallah weaves many desirable and funny anecdotes that discover the etymology, historical past, tradition, faith, myths, and legends surrounding dates. for instance, she explains how the tree got here to be an emblem of the Tree of existence and linked to the fiery phoenix chicken, the recognized historic goddess Ishtar, and the moon, and the way the medjool date bought its name.
This pleasant and strange publication is generously illustrated with many attractive photos, and supplemented with greater than a dozen scrumptious date recipes for savory dishes, chocolates, and wine.
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Extra resources for Dates: A Global History
Cut it off and the tree dies. Each leaf has a main long tough axiscalled the midrib, with long narrow featherlike leaflets that end with almost needle-like tips, which protect the palm from being swayed or broken by the wind. Along the lower part of the midrib a number of very sharp thorns grow. They help protect the terminal bud from being damaged by large animals. The outer skin of the leaflets is very strong and resistant to the damaging effects of blowing grains of sand. It also protects the underlying cells from dry air.
No foreign travellers to the Tafilatet oases in the nineteenth century mentioned a date of this name. However, quite possibly it might have passed by another name, medqool (from deqel),5 which is indeed synonymous with mejhool. The Tafilatet oasis, where the mejhool date was discovered, is in the Moroccan interior. 6 Up until the beginning of the twentieth century, mejhool was a rare variety. It was grown for export only and its offshoots were kept under lock and key. The villagers who grew them lived on inferior dates.
But they certainly can last longer at places where refrigeration and freezing amenities are available. Dates might also be eaten fresh or kept refrigerated in marginal areas where it is hot enough but too humid for dates to dry, as on the Libyan and Arab Gulf coasts. Date auction at a market-place in Oman. At places where growing conditions are not perfect, there are many ways to salvage the fruit. Extremely dry weather, for instance, will cause dates to shrivel on the palm, as in Sudan. Therefore the dates are picked when just mature and then ripened in jars to prevent loss of moisture.
Dates: A Global History by Nawal Nasrallah