All About Coffee and Dates
Coffee and dates are the consumable pillars of Arabian hospitality; they’re the customary offerings that accompany any welcome. Dates have particular significance during Ramadan as history records that three of these nutritional fruits were eaten by Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) to end a day of fasting. Apart from the religious association, dates have notable health benefits. Firstly, they’re a great source of energy-giving natural sugar after a day without food. Secondly, they contain vitamins that increase the stomach’s alkalinity, so breaking a fast with dates and then waiting a few minutes before continuing with the iftar meal is a good way to avoid indigestion.
Arabs are known to be warm, generous hosts and will also offer guests coffee in tiny cups for a reason: an Arab host wants you to be comfortable, not burning your fingers on a big scalding cup of the hot liquid. So you’re offered a few sips worth of coffee at a time – enough to hold in your hand without feeling the heat, and to consume before it gets cold. The original Arabic name for coffee translates as, “liquid that changes your mood”, so enjoy the experience. An attentive host will ensure your cup is never empty for long, and a simple shake of the cup as the pot comes around signals that you’ve had your fill without you having to break conversation.