dates 078

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.

EMMA: Fruit!

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?

LAUREN: No.

ME: Should I open it up?

SAM: Wait, NO!

ME: What?

SAM: I want to guess what’s in it.

ME: Guess what color it is? OK. What color is it going to be inside?

EMMA: Blue.

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.

[chewing noises]

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.

EMMA: Why?

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?

SAM: Yeah.

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…

SAM: EWWW!

ME: OK, well, thanks for trying you guys. Thanks to my girls for trying. Sam, maybe you’ll try another time?

SAM: NEVER! 

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