Dates from the Santa Monica Farmers' Market
I probably just never noticed before, but I finally found a date vendor at the farmers' market that doesn't make you buy a whole box. They're at the end of the market closest to the ocean.
At least ten different varieties, sorted according to sweet/moist vs. drier/more textured. Also had great unripe Barhis, which I'd never tried.
Question: who knows the name of this vendor? It was so crowded I just grabbed my dates and ran.
I also didn't have time to take notes: who knows their dates and wants to play name those dates? These are gorgeous specimens, I must say, and a very enjoyable sugar kick.
I wasn't at the market today, so I can't say for sure. But if you're talking about the date vendor on the north side of Arizona, a little west of 2nd, that would almost certainly be Robert Lower and the Flying Disc Ranch. He hasn't been there much recently, but the date harvest season recently started, so I was expecting him. The dates from the Flying Disc Ranch are amazing. Barhis are great, but you have to wait for the ones on the stem to ripen a bit. He should also have some that are ripe and are not on the stem. When they're right, they just melt in your mouth.
Here's a link to the Flying Disc's website: http://www.flyingdiscranch.com/
Yes, I sampled a Barhis that was completely ripened and it was incredible. I'd never had a date just melt in my mouth like that. Everyone should try one (and buy a bunch!)
Thanks for the vendor name, that sounds exactly right.
The unripe ones are good, but in a totally different way.
I bought the unripened dates on Sunday in Hollywood and the farmer told me to hang the bunch for a few days while the dates ripen. They won't be as sweet as the dates that ripen on the tree, but they'll have a different (and good) taste. The ones that ripened already have been very good, very mild, and not as astringent as the ones that are still green.