Goodbye Pomegranate Molasses, Hello Dates…
Really? Pomegranate molasses? You’re just hearing about this now? True, that somehow once the NYT discovers something it suddenly exists (see Mark Bittman’s paean to “yogurt cheese“ last week. ‘What,’ you may ask, ‘is yogurt cheese?” Turns out that it’s actually labne, a strained yogurt that people in the Middle East have been eating for breakfast for about 3,200 years (yes, I made that number up). I’ve eaten it all my life, and yet I couldn’t tell what it was until I read the whole piece. “Yogurt cheese,” indeed….)
Anyway, pomegranate molasses. I’m glad the white guys at the NYT have finally discovered it, but they’re way too late. First, pomegranate molasses has been all over the Internet and the Food Network for at least a year now (swear on my kibbe: Bobby Flay made a pomegranate molasses turkey or some such thing). And second, pomegranate molasses is, like, sooooo 2009….
I hereby declare the NEXT hot ethnic ingredient to be date molasses. Basically dates reduced down to a syrup, date molasses imparts a complex, fruity sweetness to yogurt, dressings, baked good and basting sauces. And just to prove it, I’m referring you back to my knock-out recipe for my Tangy Middle Eastern Salad (date molasses in the dressing). Look for it in Middle Eastern groceries — cuz it ain’t in Safeway yet. And remember, you heard it here first.
(p.s. when you go to the salad recipe, try substituting kumquats for the clementines. DEEEEE-licious!! Dried figs also work in place of dates….)