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World's second largest date festival underway
Since 1980, the the Unaizah Date Festival, has grown into its present form, a 70-day auction in late summer, generating as much as $300 million through the sale of thousands of tons of dates.
The event is the second-largest date extravaganza in the entire world and this year marked the debut of Unaizah’s brand new festival grounds, the results of extensive investments totalling more than $100 million in local money – a 2.5 million square foot complex arranged around a 37,000-square foot central plaza. The plaza can stock up to 9,000 date carts, which, in turn, carry an awful lot of dates.
It is hard to travel the countries of the Middle East and North Africa for long without consuming dates: lush pods of sugar and fiber wrapped around a slender (and easily avoided) seed. They come in blacks and yellows and reds and browns, enjoyed fresh or packed together until the huddled mass of fruit starts to caramelize into a single molten mass.
Publication date: 9/26/2017
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