When the famous British explorer, Wilfred Thesiger, crossed the planets largest desert in Saudi Arabia in the 1940’s with his 2 bedouin companions, he later swore that he would never again want to see another date and yet it was this fruit that supplied the vital energy for this gruelling journey!
Even much earlier, since biblical times, dates were believed to have profound healing properties, but only now is science acknowledging what our distant ancestors were talking about.
So revered is this fruit that it is said that the Prophet Muhammad would snack on dates before fasting during the Holy month of Ramadaan.
Eating dates during this time has become a longstanding tradition among Muslims across the world.
Dates are common in the Middle East being produced in the more arid parts of the globe and can vary in taste and texture.
The fruit having glucose and fructose supplies energy, and as far as snacking goes, is much healthier than chocolate! Dates also contain 7 essential minerals and a number of vitamins and are easily digested.
Dates have many culinary uses and can be used in breads, biscuits and tarts.
Despite their sweetness, dates are famously used in savoury dishes, together with spices and lemon. A typical meal worth mentioning is the Moroccan “Chicken Tagine” served with couscous, eliminating the blandness with the addition of chopped almonds and dates.
Dates are also an excellent addition to a cheese board as the sweetness and saltiness team up well and are a healthy addition to one’s cereal together with yogurt and other fruits.
Besides the above mentioned, a number of decadent sweetmeats can be created by stuffing dates with pistachios or preserved ginger, rolling them in coconut or ground almonds and the ultimate treat - dipping them in melted dark chocolate! Just as spices like clove, cinnamon and ginger merge wonderfully well with dates, so do many spices enhance beauty products like bath crystals, soaps and so on
Matsimela’s warm orange and ginger & vanilla sandalwood products are a feast for the senses and bring a sense of the exotic into our homes.