Dates have been a staple food in the Middle East and South Asia for a very long time. There is archeological evidence in fact that shows cultivation of the fruit as far back as the days of Mesopotamia, around 4000 B.C.
Few fruits and their trees are as versatile as dates. In India, the date palm’s sweet sap is tapped and this can then be processed into sugar, fermented into an alcoholic beverage, or further made into vinegar. Young palm leaves, terminal buds, and flowers are all edible and prepared as vegetables in Middle Eastern and North African cuisines.
Dates are carbohydrate-rich like most staple food. But this quality can also become a disadvantage if understood and used poorly. Read on and learn about the pros and cons of dates.