Thursday, February 17, 2005

It's that time of year again!

Yes, ladies and gents, it is time for Riverside County's Date Festival! Over the next week or so I will be bringing you more info on dates than you ever expected to know...

First off, a hat tip to Pat Saperstein of Eating LA. She held a moment of silence for Shield's Date company a week ago because they had decided to close their doors as of April 1. Well, good news Pat and all you other date lovers, Jewel Date bought Shield's. Well, not the land or the building but the name and some processing equipment. Jewel also runs a packing house in Indio, so when the land and building are sold, they'll consolidate the operations. Good news though is that they are licensed to use the Shield's name and that ever so famous film!

One thing Jewel bought was the knowledge of processing date crystals. Very few companies are making the crystals these days. Jewel is about the only local company I know where the crystals can be purchased. The crystals are a great thing to have on hand when you can't buy fresh dates. They can be reconsituted and used as fresh dates would be used in cooking. They store great and can be a handy addition to a pantry.

I have been around dates for about 6 years and have had the great opportunity to see the Date Festival close-up. In fact I even built a couple of displays for one of the companies out in the desert for the festival. It was a great time and I learned a lot about the industry working with them.

Watch for continuing info about dates in the next few days.