The Desert’s Dessert
As we roamed through the oasis in the desert of Morocco, our driver said there were 22 different types of date trees.
The best dates are Medjools, which we can get here in Portland.
Hundreds of years ago, a Saudi prince visited Morocco and showed the denizens how to imbue a barren tree with dates from another type of palm tree, said Saleem, our driver.
The impressed Morrocans gifted a royal daughter to the prince, thus cementing a fruitful—as well as political—relationship.
Dates were likely the fruits that Eve offered Adam, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization.
“The legend is, that the date palm (not the apple tree) was the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and that the date (not the apple) was the fruit Eve so generously offered to Adam in the Garden of Eden,” according to the UN’s website.
Saleem stopped the car by a forest of adobe buildings so we could take photos.
He said travelers from the East (Morocco’s West is coastline) would sojourn by caravan (with horses, donkeys and camels) through the deserts and stream-beds, and take shelter in high-walled Kasbahs built by local folks.
Thick, high walls were forged by clay, water and grasses, which protected locals and travelers from marauders.
The Kasbahs are colored terra cotta like the baked earth seen in New Mexico and Utah.
We climbed to the top of an ancient fort and looked down at groves of date palms, imagining how the fruit tasted to Adam and Eve.
1 January 2017