[nafex] A Question about Unusual Date Tastes

Geoffrey Tolle Gtolle0709 at wowway.com
Mon Jun 24 18:22:23 EDT 2013


      I found the following passage from Pliny the Elder's _Natural 
History_ (Bk 13, Chap. 9, p. 175, Pliny the Elder, trans.: Bo stock, 
John; Riley, H. T., Natural History of Pliny, Henry G. Bohn, London 
(1855). Available online at: 

    In the southern parts of the world, the date known as "syargi" {from
    the greek /snagrov/, "wild boar"}, hold the highest rank,... The
    same is the case also with the tree that bears the /syagri/. We have
    heard a wonderful story too, relative to this last tree, to the
    effect that it dies and comes to life again in a similar manner to
    the phoenix, which it is generally though has borrowed its name from
    the palm-tree, in consequence of this peculiarity; at the moment
    that I am writing this, that tree is still bearing fruit. As for the
    fruit itself, it is large, hard, and of a rough appearance, and
    differing in taste from all other kinds, having a sort of wild
    flavour peculiar to itself, and not unlike that of the flesh of the
    wild boar; it is evidently this circumstance from which it has
    derived its name of "/syagrus/."

Since the interest in dates in the US is generally sugar dates, I found 
this very interesting. I realize that this particular variety of date 
may not survive any longer (though, who knows) but I'd appreciate a 
little background (perhaps a reference book or two) on edible non-sugar 
dates from one of our date experts. Such a date could be of considerable 
interest in among the vegetarian community.

                                         Geoffrey Tolle

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