The Desert’s Sweet Treasure for Thousands of Years
The tree of life...
Imagine a tree that can withstand temperatures of 120 degrees in the desert, and you'll understand why date palms are a welcome sight to desert travelers. The "tree of life" or date trees provide food in most inhospitable places.
Their sugary, edible fruits provide nourishment in a very harsh place where only a few crops can grow. They form in honeycomb clusters of 200 to 1,000 dates, enough for a caravan as well as its herds of camels, goats, and sheep. After miles of nothing but heat and sand, these fruit-producing shade trees signaled sustenance for hungry men and animals.
With huge leaves that act as heat insulators, the date palm handles arid deserts with ease, especially around oases. The underground water lets the tree survive a hot and dry climate even without rain. Precipitation can ruin the fruits while dry heat ripens them properly. The plant protects itself with thorns on the gray-green fronds, so stray animals can't eat them.
Requiring little maintenance, it's no wonder date palms are one of the first fruit trees domesticated by men. They can grow in sand, are naturally scattered by the wind, and are free of pests who can't survive the unforgiving conditions. They begin to bear fruit in 3 to 8 years, reach full bearing at 10 to 15 years, and continue producing for a long, long time. Some palms are known to live as long as 150 years.
It's the harvesting and sorting that is labor-intensive. The dates hang in long strands from the upper branches of the trees which can grow up to a height of 80 feet. Harvesters climb the trees to handpick the fruits in temperatures often exceeding 100 degrees. Because dates ripen at different times, the pickers have to scale up and down the trees every few days to get all of the fruit.
Fortunately, you don't need to risk your life and limbs anymore to enjoy the soft, chewy texture and sweet, delicate flavor of dates. You can easily enjoy this energizing staple food from prehistory up to the present with Energy Dates from 7D VARIETY. After all, thousands of years of deliciousness and health can't be wrong.