A Date For International Understanding

Although most of the comments and messages I get are friendly and kind, a few do slip through that are less-than-complimentary. A majority of them illuminate the errors of my ways by pointing out the faults in my cross-cultural observations. So I was delighted when I found Socio-Site Scan v1.01, some brand-new software which allows me to simply input all my blog entries, and tells me what percentage of my posts are which are complimentary to one culture, and what percentage isn’t.

So what did I find?

Roughly 67.8% are complimentary to the French, while only 65.3% of what I write was pro-American.
But a whopping 47% were anti-French, followed closely by 45.2% of swipes at my compatriots in the states.


Since this is the beginning of the holiday season, one full of global good cheer (real or imagined), I decided that since our politicians have been messing it up a bit too long, at least 6 years too long (oops…gonna have to give the site a second run-through), I decided that today I’m calling a holiday truce.

Since there’s no time like the present, I’m happy to start right now promoting international understanding by sharing these divinely delicious dates from Iran, which are perhaps the best dates I’ve ever had. (Insert your own joke here.) They certainly rival the Medjool dates from California, which are excellent as well, although they’re far pricier. Hmm, perhaps I might suggest America trade dates for oil? It certainly would be a tasty trade-off that might make everyone a little less combative.

These Iranian beauties are silky-smooth, sweet, soft and buttery. And at 500 gr (½ pound) box costs roughly 3€, a fraction of their American counterparts. Although there’s a trade embargo between the two countries, in the spirit of delicious diplomacy, I’m happy to raise a white flag of sublime surrender.

Iranian dates are available early in the winter, and aside from eating them plain, these dates (or any kind) can be stuffed with a nugget of bleu cheese, wrapped in bacon and griddled, or simply split them open, pluck out the pit and fill with a lozenge of almond paste. They makes a simple after-dinner treat with a pot of fresh mint tea. But mostly I enjoy them au naturelleas a winter snack with a big platter of bright-tasting, vibrant tangerines.

So in the spirit of the holidays, I’m suggesting a bit of sweet détente, starting today.

Available in Middle-Eastern shops in Paris, including:

140, Rue Faubourg St-Antoine
Marche d’Aligre
(12th arrondisement)

Never miss a post!


  • December 6, 2006 9:13am

    How about a date? Why, I’d love one.

    I’m going to have to look for these dates as I’m a big date freak.

    Did that come out correctly?

  • December 6, 2006 9:16am

    Ooh la la – hot dates for David! :o)

    I love the Socio Site Scan idea – what a hoot. PC food blogging reaches new heights!

  • Matilda
    December 6, 2006 10:30am

    Ooooh, dates…I love mine pitted and stuffed with a teaspoon of mascarpone…mmmm

  • Nan
    December 6, 2006 10:44am

    Looks like the date box is pretty too.

    I became suddenly interested in dates after finding a middle-eastern recipe for stuffing them with green marzipan (with orange flower water). It’s a simple but lovely confection. Will have to check Kalyustan’s in NY for Iranian dates… fingers crossed.

    A holiday truce is a nice idea. However, your bias never bothered me in the least, as it reflects the sentiments of me et tous mes amis. There’s been, meanwhile, a sea change in the U.S. — almost everyone is fed up with the government of the last 6 years.

  • Catherine Coleman
    December 6, 2006 12:29pm

    Mmm, dates.

    I’ve bought Iranian dried figs recently as well, much to my husband’s disgust (we’re both British).

    An Italian friend of mine used to take a good sized piece of date, squidge it into a ball, surround it in marzipan and then dip it in dark chocolate. I’ve done the same with success, just mixing different spirits (cognac worked well, so it Poire William) with the almond paste. Makes for delicious Christmas presents.

  • Samantha Meldrum
    December 6, 2006 12:59pm

    Just a general comment about David’s blog, I love Paris and its culture(especially the food!) I recently visited Paris in July for the first time, and long to go back every day!!!! I loved everything about the city, and the people!!

  • December 6, 2006 1:29pm

    But David, one of the things that keeps me coming back for more is the fact that you ARE biased! And judging by your popularity, I doubt I’m alone in that. ;)

    Here’s an idea, how about YOU run for president? You could start by bringing together heads of state to discuss Middle East policy over a selection of your homemade treats. Who ever argues over dessert?

  • Jeffrey Bary
    December 7, 2006 3:20pm

    For those date lovers in the New York City area there are a very limited number of dates imported from Iraq available. Artist/Grocer Michael Rakowitz:


    has received a small shipment of 4 types of dates from Iraq. In addition he has 4 other types of dates from California. So you can get 8 different dates to taste.

    Open through this Sunday.

  • barb
    December 7, 2006 10:05pm

    dates are a guilty pleasure ….yes, and i was treated to a wonderfully succulent way to serve them at a party recently, wrapped in bacon and baked….indescribably delicious …as all dates should be :~D

  • December 12, 2006 10:37pm

    My mother, in the ’50s, would stuff Medjool dates with peanut butter. Second favorite was cream cheese topped with a walnut half.

  • lolo
    December 13, 2006 10:28pm

    Have you ever tasted “deglet nour” dates? you will forget iranian’s and all other dates.

    try to find some but they have to be fresh and avoid dates covered with glucose. you will remember me :-)

    deglet nour are dates growing mostly in north africa: Tunisia and Algeria

    Deglet nour translated means dates of light. it has also the name of queen of dates and this explains what i am saying cuz it has a unique taste