But then a marvelous thing happened. I moved to Los Angeles–yep, still hung up on this city–and started shopping at a supermarket with a large Armenian food section. And what that means, in addition to a mind-boggling selection of feta cheese and yogurt, is that I was exposed to first-class dates for the first time. These are soft, juicy, hunka hunka burnin’ love dates, bursting with flavor and absolutely delicious.
For the most part, I don’t do much with my dates. (Sooo many possible ways to go with that sentence. Let’s stick to the culinary, shall we?) I tend to eat them plain, as a pre-running snack. If I’m feeling frisky I’ll split them and fill them with nut butter for some added flavor and calories. But I haven’t baked with them much, until now.
This Date-Nut Loaf was really more like a poundcake than any sort of bread, quick or otherwise. It had a really tight, cakey crumb and a lovely flavor from the vanilla and almond extracts. When they baked, the date pieces almost melted and became little pockets of sweetness scattered throughout the cake, broken up by the crunch of toasted walnuts.