Saturday, 24 March 2012

Tamr a.k.a Dates

Tamr, a.k.a Dates, was a spit word in my NZ vocabulary. Ewww!, ARrhhhh!, Yuuuuk! were sounds that generally accompanied answers to 'Want some dates?'

Dates cannot be avoided if you intend to socialise with the locals in KSA.  Dates are part and parcel of the meet and greet experience, along with qahwah (Arabic coffee), sweets and tea.

Not to be rude, I did accept a date when offered on my very first visit to a Saudi home (and you can read about that in Visit to a Saudi Home) though I was a little apprehensive.  When I first saw the brown wrinkled mass in the serving dish I had to ask, 'What is that?'  I cringed inwardly at the word 'Dates'.  A nibble was, I convinced myself at sight of the plate on the table loaded with the fruit, all I could handle then I'd have to politely dispose of the remains.

But the dates in KSA are a heck of a lot nicer than the product imported into the homelands.  Hardly suprising as dates are considered a staple in the region and numerous varieties of are grown here.     My friends often give me dates,  fresh from the family farm, and if I don't get round to eating them myself, they make excellent gifts for the folks back home who are surprised at how nice they are.

Dates at Janadriyah
I have, in fact, come to quite like dates.  There are three ways I prefer them best.  Sun-ripend soft is much better than the hard woody, not fully ripe date. 

Mamool is also a nice way to have dates.  One of my friends makes her own mamool that I'm happy to scoff when I visit.

My most favourite is date paste softened with a little butter and milk, formed into squares and covered in coconut or cocoa or fine biscuit crumbs.  That is Yumbo!

Tamriin made for me by my friends mother. Yumbo!
Eventually, everyone who moves to Saudi Arabia figures out their favourite way to enjoy Tamr a.k.a Dates.

Ka Kite,

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