Anyone who has traveled in the Middle East in late summer or early fall will recognise the large plump crisp looking fruit on the plate as dates, though most people will only recognise the brown soft looking fruit as dates. The red dates are fresh from the palm in my backyard, a variety known locally as Zaghloul. They are sweet with a faint aftertaste reminiscent of a slightly unripe banana, that rather dry taste. They contain the treasure trove of vitamins and minerals that dried and fermented dates contain, but much less calories because the fiber in them has not fermented to sugars. The brown dates are only a day or so older than the red ones but in our summer heat they ferment quickly to the form with which most consumers are more aware.