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  • From: "Idell Weydemeyer" <>
  • To: "'nafex mailing list at ibiblio'" <>
  • Subject: Re: [nafex] A Question about Unusual Date Tastes
  • Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2013 10:34:23 -0700

Maybe this is the date referred to as that time--althugh this one sounds
like it tastes better.

idell weydemeyer

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Geoffrey Tolle
Sent: Monday, June 24, 2013 3:22 PM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: [nafex] A Question about Unusual Date Tastes


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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