An unexpected parcel leads to some hot dates

It’s not often, these days, that a totally unexpected parcel arrives. The post, when you are a grown-up, is just a to-do list that comes through your letterbox. So I admit I was a little suspicious when I got a parcel, heavily taped, and addressed to me, that I neither recognised nor anticipated. But those most appealing of siblings, greed and curiosity, got the better of me as I went at the package with a box cutter.

Inside was a packet of coffee, a candle and some delicious chocolate-covered dates by Qatar-based Qinwan, which specialises in premium, gourmet dates. I immediately recognised that this was from my friend Rachel, who lives in Doha. She’d selected for me an amazing box of stuffed, chocolate-covered Medjool dates, which are among my most favourite things.

I know dates are very high in natural sugar, but they do taste delicious – nature’s caramel. And these ones were further filled with things like praline, coffee, cinnamon and almond or orange cream.

Although Qinwan does ship to the UK (and I know the readership of this column is beautifully global), for those in the UK you may also want to try The Datery, which does wonderful looking dates from £21 a box, or Misco’s, whose peanut butter-stuffed Medjool dates for £4.99 are perfect for an after-exercise refuel.

You can, of course, make your own – cashew butter is a good filling, then the whole lot can be dipped in chocolate and left to set.

Follow Annalisa on Twitter @AnnalisaB


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