Shields Date Garden
It turns out dates are harder to grow than French Bulldogs are to breed. Seriously, without people to do the work for them, there’s no way dates are making it on their own in the wild. At Shields they have a film that goes over the process of how dates are made, and it’s pretty much 15 exhausting sounding, super labor intensive steps, from pruning branches, to covering dates with paper bags so they don’t get too hot, to lots of water (in a desert) to hand pollination from the male to female trees. I don’t know why they don’t ask $120 a pound for dates. They can’t be less labor intensive than pine nuts, surely? And those sell for $30 a pound sometimes.
I tried to get Paul to get a date shake, as I’m lactose intolerant, but he’s ice cream intolerant (the other kind of intolerance) and also not a big fan of dates. (But they seemed popular, there was a pretty big line.) Shields has a bunch of kinds of dates that only they have, (another insane thing about dates, every tree can be different.) and Paul and I both liked the blonde variety, which tasted a bit like caramel and had a slightly alcoholic quality. They also sell medjool if you aren’t feeling adventurous.
And the sign is all kinds of cool.
shieldsdategarden.com 80-225 U.S. Highway 111 Indio, CA 92201-6599 Store: 9am to 5pm Daily