In Praise of Dates: 10 Fun Facts About Dates | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

In Praise of Dates: 10 Fun Facts About Dates

Dates. Courtesy Pixabay

And why you should eat more of them in honor of Yom Ha'Atzmaut

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Israelis eat a lot of dates. They put them in shakes, eat them as snacks, and drizzle date syrup (silan) on almost everything. In honor of Israel's 71st birthday, we present 10 fun facts and reasons why you should eat more dates (as if their deliciousness wasn't a good enough reason). Make trying a new variety of date your goal for this year. Even better if it's from Israel.

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
  • Dates are healthful powerhouses. They are a good source of fiber, potassium, protein, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, minerals, and vitamins A and D.
  • Many healing powers are attributed to dates. They are even said to promote fertility and bring about labor naturally. 
  • There are three types of dates: soft, semi-soft, and dry, with more than 200 variations. Why not host a date tasting party?  
  • Date palms, like palm trees in general, are botanically classified as grass rather than fruit, and as a result, are related to grains. 
  • Dried dates can last for years due to their low water and high sugar content.
  • Dates flourish in the desert and are resistant to drought. 
  • Some dates can be eaten raw while most are eaten dried. 
  • Dried dates are easily transportable. Jazz up your trail mix with some dates. 
  • Dates are among the seven species of Israel listed in the bible. Israel's dates are grown in the Jordan Valley and the Arava while most America's dates are grown in California’s Coachella Valley. 
  • Dates are extremely versatile. Pop some into smoothies, bake with them, slice a couple into a salad, make a silan (date syrup) and tahini sandwich.

Date Palm Tree. Courtesy Kaspar C/Flickr 

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