“That’s the best date I ever had,” I said. I was speaking to the young women with the latte skin and uncovered, long dark hair, but also to the serious-looking Emirati man who had wandered over because I was the only thing happening. Mid-week, midafternoon, the date festival was nearly deserted, save a few clusters of Indian men, single Western men in suits with briefcases, and a grumpy woman with big glasses. I suppose I was expecting this man, this representative of Al Foah, one of the largest date producers in the UAE, to be impressed somehow, or at least gratified, by my enthusiasm. I wasn’t exaggerating. The fruit had a thin, melting skin and a pillowy interior, the flavor rich, heady with sweetness and spice. (Hints of cardamom and apricot?) The serious man asked where I was from, and I proceeded to disappoint him with my ignorance about the production and sale of dates in the United States. Yes, I did think that dates had become more visible in grocery stores over the past five years, though I couldn’t say what varieties. Medjool? I did know that California was a hub, but, by then, I’d lost him.