Hello from Yuma, Arizona!
I’m here for the Natural Delights Medjool Date Blogger Summit. That’s right. It’s an entire immersion trip related to those little bites of heaven, and I’ve already learned so much! Did you know that dates are not considered a dried fruit? They’re actually fresh fruit, which is why you sometimes see them next to the bananas in the produce section.
I’m here with a bunch of other food/healthy living/vegan/Registered Dietitian bloggers for the next couple of days and we’re going to learn all sorts of neat things about Medjool dates. On the agenda: A tour of some Date Gardens, a painting activity with dates (I’m so curious about this!), a tour of the Datepac (where the dates are packed up), and canoeing on the Colorado River. Fun, fun!
The Summit kicked-off last night with a cocktail reception, featuring all sorts of delicious appetizers made with Medjool dates.
I pretty much tried one of everything, but my favorites were blue cheese + bacon, chorizo + feta (spicy + cheesy+ sweet = incredible), and pumpkin + cream cheese.
I was in date heaven for sure!
I also tried a Mojito made with date syrup. Yum! Loved it.
After the cocktail reception, we all hopped on a bus to drive to one of the date grower’s homes for a welcome dinner.
I chatted with Gus, another one of the growers, for quite awhile about all things dates. His family has been growing Medjool dates for more than 50 years, so he was a wealth of information.
Before dinner, we enjoyed passed appetizers (made with Medjool dates, of course) and drinks.
Dinner started with tossed salads made with mixed greens, red onion, cucumber, grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, dates, and almonds tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.
The main course was beef tenderloin served with chimichurri sauce (so good!) and roasted veggies.
Dessert was a selection of mini baked goods made with Medjool dates (i.e. cookies, cupcakes). I forgot to snap a photo of them, but I did take a picture of the salted chocolate-covered Medjool date waiting for me in my hotel room after dinner. What a nice surprise!
I can’t wait to tell you guys more about my trip! In the meantime, feel free to follow me (and the rest of the bloggers) on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #whyidate. More soon!
Question of the Day
If you could attend a summit for anything, what would it be?
I’d love to attend a pug summit. For real. All of those pugs in one place = LOVE! And pug people are just the best, so I think a pug summit would be a ton of fun!