Dates in the Middle East are like corn for the Maya — not just a crop but an icon, the “bread of the desert,” a symbol of life itself. The date palm appears on mosaic floors laid by Roman artisans and on coins stamped by the early caliphs. The fruit recurs in the Quran and the Hebrew Bible: Many scholars believe the honey in “land of milk and honey” refers to honey from dates, not bees […New York Times]
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