The food writer Diana Henry thinks Dates have been given a bad press, and in our series on Fruits of the Magi, she's intent on their renaissance.
In the Islamic story of creation, when Allah came to make the date palm he made it not out of the same clay he used for other trees but from some of the material he had left over after making the first human.
It's known as the tree of life in the Bible, and the palm is often shown in carvings from the earliest period of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilisations, where dates were a staple food. Diana Henry tempts our reporter Anna McNamee with a few dates. Recipe for Lamb stuffed with dates and aubergines