The reason I chose dates for this week’s column goes back to seeing a display in a Los Banos grocery store during recent travels. As soon as I walked in, I spotted the 2-pound clear plastic tubs full of sweet, sticky Deglet Noor (also Deglet Nour) dates, just begging to be placed in my shopping cart. Upon arriving at my mom’s house, I shared the tub of dates with family. We literally could not stop eating them, and everyone commented that they had never had such delicious dates as those. In just one day, those dates pretty much did a disappearing act, so I was very happy to find some more in a Gilroy grocery store. I left those with my mom, and on the way home stopped once again in Los Banos, where I bought two more tubs to take home. They were a lot more expensive in Gilroy, so that is why I didn’t load up there. Deglet Noor dates are called The Queen of Dates and appreciated for their soft texture, transparent light color and honey-like taste, which supposedly distinguish the Deglet Noor from other dates. I was happy to see that California has a very successful date growing climate. The origin of this particular date is said to be (according to old books on the subject) Algeria, but Tunisia also lays claim to the title of original producer. Wherever they came from, I am a huge fan of the Deglet Noor date.