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The fingers of the desert

The sensual dates come from one of the thousand species of palm tree, the Phoenix Dactylera, which the Assyrians and Babylonians turned into a sacred tree.
Linnaeus baptized this palm tree the princess of vegetables. Known as daktylos by Greeks and Romans, these desert fingers were always a refined, exotic and sensual product.
The blue men of the desert cross the Sahara with minimal luggage: dried dates and goat's milk. Thanks to these provisions they survive in very difficult situations, although they also have a great time. We must remember that prince of the desert, the fiery masked lover, a blue man protagonist of Under the Sheltering Sky, Bertolucci's film based on Bowles' novel.
The energizing properties of dates have been famous since ancient times. Old Apicius was inspired by this concentrate of vitamins & minerals to create his Conditum Paradoxium, a sweet wine with immediate aphrodisiac effects. With its fruit, which has been consumed for seven thousand years, the Egyptians prepared Checar, a strong drink made from its fermentation.
It bothers me to see dark, dry, definitive and final dates in supermarket baskets from Israel, which surely had a better time. Sad ersatz of an absolute truth. Surely freshly harvested they have another look and another essence.
October is the month of harvest in the North African palm groves, the Deglet Nur, which grow in the border oases of Tunisia and Algeria. The best of the world. Deglet Nur means where the light passes. Through its golden and shiny flesh, between amber and old red, the light passes as through a stained glass window. The ones from the supermarkets are jers (fané), an Algerian friend told me, in their land they only give them to camels.
Sometimes I was lucky that a month after the harvest, my friend landed in Buenos Aires, holding up branches of dates. And what is that for? -They asked at the Ezeiza customs: -To eat.- Well, come on...
With dates it is advisable to take the same precautions as with certain white wines: if they are the year, the better, then they lose sensuality, they last but do not live.
You only need one date, just one to alleviate the lows of the soul, to mitigate the post-nap cafard, to be inspired at dawn with a glass of Brut Nature champagne. Or like Bowles and his characters, with mint tea.

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