I was recently at the grocery store and spotted some fresh dates. I eat dried dates all of the time, my favorite being the dark Medjool dates that have a lovely caramel flavor. The first time I tried the fresh dates, they were bitter but still good – what I didn’t realize is that they benefit from a few days on the counter so that they become soft and chewy. I thought that my kids would love these. Sam’s reaction was both surprising and totally predictable – which makes no sense except that it does. So here we go, dates…
ME: Guys! I have something pretty special to share. What is this?
SAM: Is this the last mystery food ever?
ME: No, it’s not the last mystery food ever. What do you think that is?
EMMA: Juice and a vegetable?
ME: I’ll get you water.
ME: It’s not a vegetable.
ME: Yes it’s a fruit. What kind of fruit is it?
SAM: I don’t know, but it’s squishy in some places.
ME: What do you guys think? What kind of fruit is that? Have you ever seen anything like it?
ME: Should I open it up?
SAM: Wait, NO!
SAM: I want to guess what’s in it.
ME: Guess what color it is? OK. What color is it going to be inside?
ME: Blue? What do you think Sam?
SAM: The same color.
ME: You think it’s going to be the same color? Let’s see…
LAUREN: Wait, no!
ME: OK Lauren needs to guess. What is it?
LAUREN: A little lighter of a brown…
ME: OK. Here we go…
ALL: [GASP] WHOA!
ME: Sam’s kind of right! And Lauren’s kind of right. It’s a tie!
SAM: [laughing] Emma’s wrong. She guessed blue!
ME: That’s OK, she’s allowed to guess blue. I’m going to give you guys each a little sliver. So, these are fresh dates.
SAM: EWW! I hate Dates!
ME: Well you don’t know because you’ve never tried a fresh date.
SAM: I have.
ME: No, you’ve only tried a dried date.
ME: What do you think?
SAM: I hate dates.
LAUREN: It’s a little sweet.
EMMA: I’ve never tried them!
LAUREN: Wait, I’m going to put a date inside of a raspberry.
ME: A date inside of a raspberry and eat it all together like that? How cool is that? I just learned about fresh dates and I really love them. Watch, when they’re ripe, they pull right off. Looks like some of these others aren’t quite ripe yet, so we’re going to let them ripen a bit more. When they’re really crunchy, I think it means they’re less ripe and they have a little bit of an astringent flavor.
LAUREN: Wait, I want to have another one.
ME: Ok here.
LAUREN: It tastes like caramel.
ME: Emma, You think it tastes like caramel? Like a chocolate bar? Like a candy bar? Why don’t you try it and see if it tastes similar or different.
EMMA: I’ll try it and hope I like it.
ME: Yeah, but at least you’re trying it and that’s so good.
ME: Isn’t it good?
SAM: NO, NO, NO! Spitting out.
ME: But you tried it… High five for trying it!
LAUREN: That’s not trying it. That’s spitting out!
ME: Do you feel like you’re going to throw up?
ME: Like, I could understand if it was something really yucky, but to me these taste really good and it’s sweet. All right, well maybe we can try them in a couple days when they soften up even a little a bit more and they get really super soft and like…
ME: OK, well, thanks for trying you guys. Thanks to my girls for trying. Sam, maybe you’ll try another time?