A lovely day with the ´Datileros´

Wait until you see the video footage I took while watching the date harvest here in Valencia. I spent a day with the ´Datileros´or ´Date family´as they are affectionately known in the area. Ma José , Pepe, Eduardo, his son and his father and grandfather before him, have all earned this title over hundreds of years and are renowned for their trade; caring for the palms , picking and preparing the dates , every year for sale in the run up to Christmas. Everyone in the area will make the pilgrimage to the local market to make sure that their table is graced with these sumptuous and sticky, golden dates; theirs is a labour of love, carried out, year after year, and with great care and hard work. I saw how they tirelessly climbed tree after tree, way up into the blue sky, twenty and thirty metres up these perilously swaying palms, to haul down over 200 kilos of dates, while MaJose, the Head date farmer washed and sorted them tirelessly, late into the night, rinsing them in vinegar and storing them tightly in storage jars to mature ready for market. You´ll see my vlog in a couple of weeks. And I shall explain step by step how they prepare them, in my blog. For now I leave you with my photos of lunch and supper on the date farm. We didn´t go hungry! A paella cooked for us on an open fire in the country for lunch and chops and sausages on a roaring fire at night. It´s the ´Date´farmer´s life for me any day!

!Ya verás mis videos y vlog sobre la recogida de los dátiles aqui en Valencia! Pasé un día con los ´Datileros´; apodo cariñoso para esta gran familia, el cual; MaJosé, Pepe, Eduardo, su hijo y padre y abuelo antes de él han ganado gracias a sus labores con las palmas y dátiles durante literalmente siglos de trabajo duro. Son renombrados en toda la zona por su cuidado de las palmas, la recogida y preparación cuidadosa, año tras año de los dátiles; en preparación para las navidades. Todo el mundo hará su pilgimación al mercado para comprarlos y es una tradición que da sentido a la vida de todos. Estuve mirando, maravillada, mientras subían una y otra vez, hasta 20 y 30 metros, hasta bajar unos 200 kilos de dátiles; mientras la Jefa de la granja, MaJose, trabajó sin parar, hasta largas horas de la tarde, limpiando, arreglando y lavando con vinagre a estas frutas doradas y unctuosas, preprándolas para el mercado, donde va día tras día a venderlas cara a la navidad. Ésto es un labor de amor, realizado año tras año, con devoción, y alabado por todos en el pueblo. Por ahora os dejo con los imágenes de la comida que nos prepararon. !No pasamos hambre! Una paella cocinada bajo los árboles para la comida y unas deliciosas chuletas y longanizas delante del fuego por la noche. !Para mí, la vida de un ´Datilero´!

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