The date palm, native to the Middle East, was mentioned in the bible as the “tree of life,” and the word “date” comes from the Greek “daktulos”, which means “finger”. Dates grow in large bunches which can weigh as much as 40 pounds, and large trees will yield more than 1,000 dates each year. In many countries dates are added to salads, couscous dishes, curries and used in baked desserts and confections. Because dates are very high in sugar, they can easily be converted into sugar. To make date sugar, arrange sliced dates on a baking sheet and bake at 450° for 10 to 15 minutes, or until very dry and hard as rocks. Grind in a food processor to make sugar.