Medjool Dates and Civilization

Among dates, the Medjool was known as the king of dates. It is a very large and sweet dessert fruit and an exceptional food. The fruit may have been responsible for Western Civilization. With dates people had a staple food. Date fruit can be stored for prolonged periods of time. The fruit can be stored for months and even years. The date not only allowed people to survive, but it allowed people to thrive in the desert. The fruit was so important that we can still find laws talking about dates in the tablets of ancient Sumeria. The date fruit is known as the bread of the desert, because without it people would not have been able to survive. It was a large source of food and following wars it was often used to subjugate conquered people, by limiting or cutting down date palm orchards.

The palm is probably the tree of life mentioned in the Bible. The date palm provided everything needed to live on, that is why it is most likely that the date palm was the tree of life. The palm is used for building homes, building furniture, utensils, mats, baskets, hats, rope, fuel, food for the animals, and food for humans. The date palm was all used and never wasted, that is why it was known as the tree of life. Interestingly the date palm is not a tree, the palm is more akin to a grass than a tree.

In modern days the date palm continues to be a very important source of food. The date fruit provides a staple source food and date propagation is very important to many governments in the Middle East and North Africa. The fruit grows well in the desert and it is a readily accepted food. People still depend on the date and live from it. A family unit can live from a date orchard. A date palm orchard can live about 150 years, it is enough to feed two generations. Once the hard work of growing one orchard is done, the following generation will have a stable source of food and can do something else. This may have been how persons started to do other things and how civilization started to develop.

Once a year there is a special season called Ramadan, where Islam requires fasting and the fast is often broken by eating dates. A variety of dates is often grown to be consumed for these purposes. This date fruit is one that ripens early and is consumed before it ripens. This date fruit often referred to as the Ramadan date is not fully ripened, but unlike other fruit it is not bitter and it can be eaten. For Ramadan in the United States other dates are consumed, because of their availability. Most dates including the Medjool date are grown in Arizona and Southern California and not harvested until around September. Ramadan takes place in August, so the Medjool like most other dates ripens too late in the year to be consumed for Ramadan.

The Medjool date is valued for its sweetness and it was once reserved for royalty, now a days you can buy it at most local grocery stores. It is still the most expensive date you will find, but it is within everyone’s reach. The date has a lot of carbohydrates, potassium, and cleansing qualities. The fruit is a known as a power food, ounce for ounce it has more nutrients than other foods, especially potassium.

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