September and October mean lots of things: humidity so fierce my hair can be seen from the moon, the start of event season (soooo many exhibitions and client launches), but most importantly: it's date time!
Not the 'pour yourself into a sexy outfit, talk nicely to someone, make a good impression on them and try not to get too drunk' date, silly... I mean the juicy Arab treat that grows on trees!
If you drive around any of the Emirates, and especially Al Ain where you can enter the date palm oases, you'll see palm trees brimming with juicy dates. And it's around this time that they start to be harvested.
Now, if like me, you grew up in the UK, your experience of dates might be limited to those white oblong boxes that appeared at Christmas. There was usually a camel illustration on the box. I HATED them. Slimy, disgusting, plastic things they were, and only my mum used to indulge.
Since living in the Middle East, I've realised that fresh dates are a completely different story. I'm still not their number one fan, but I do confess to being rather partial to the variety that come stuffed with orange at Bateel. It's reminiscent of a Terry's Chocolate Orange..without the chocolate.
|Like beautiful apricots! They're not...|
And the absolute best? Those picked straight from the tree in Al Ain, of course.