Indeed Colin, but if I drank as much wine and coffee as some people do coke, I would be an alcoholic who doesn’t sleep with a permanent twitch! 🤦
I particularly love Iranian mazafati dates, so delicious. No idea which varieties I ate in Syria and Egypt when I lived there but I loved them too
When I was in Saudi I worked for a large food company and one of our businesses was a date processing company which I was charged with selling off, so I got to know quite a bit about dates in that time. Like olive oil, there are lots of scams in the international date trade (Israel exports far more dates than they produce, let alone after domestic consumption is taken into consideration).
We had a Pakistani chap as a consultant who was a mine of information and quite funny - my favourite tale of his described how Iranian dates were processed and one reason why they were so competitive on world markets. Apparently it is normal practice to send sacks of dates to small households for processing, and to remove the bit at the end rather than use a knife it is much faster for the women doing this (it is almost exclusively “women’s work”) to simply bite it off. He reckoned that if you examine Iranian dates carefully you can actually see toothmarks!
My favourite type are the Sukari dates - it is like eating fudge (the name means sugary as you could guess).
I discovered them through their backing of Stade Rochelais and now when in La Rochelle stock up at one of their shops
They also do mail order - and we got a large pack of chocolates as a thank you first tube we ordered.
My daughter is a trained barista and also rates their coffee
Spent an interesting summer a few years back investigating / sampling / testing and purchasing half a dozen commercial bean to cup machines for use on board a river cruise fleet.
Franke scored highly for taste and efficiency but the numbers didn’t add up. In the end I opted for the Schaerer range, with prices £5k–£9k depending on capacity. All excellent, great tasting easy to use and importantly easy to keep clean.
The sales guy offered me a small model for home at a big discount, but even that was out of my personal price range. So I’ve been sticking with my French press [cafetière] until recently when we succumbed to temptation and bought a cheap – €22 – Melitta filter machine.
No bells and whistles, just fill it, press the switch and come back 3–4mins later for a good cup of coffee. And much less messy than the press - just pull out the filter and bin it.
Yes, yes! My favourite, bought as beans, 52 gms fresh ground and into the plunger pot with 400 mils of water at about 93 C - my morning glory.