I picked up my third flat of Black Sphinx dates from Erica’s house today. She said they had 3 more flats (12 1-pound boxes per flat). After that, she expected to harvest 4 more flats and then that’s it for this year.

Thank goodness for Erica!

Harry, the guy who worked the date grove for decades, got Parkinson’s and had to stop working the trees. BTW, last winter when I saw Harry he was in amazingly good spirits although he was having some difficulty walking.

Anyway, I’m totally nuts about Black Sphinx dates. They’re fresh, not dried like every other date. Think of the difference between grapes and raisins or plums and prunes. The fresh fruit is entirely different from the dried fruit.

Erica lives in the Date Grove in Arcadia (where I used to live) and works some trees in her yard and maybe some neighbors’ trees, I’m not sure.

Crazy Date Santa Claus

Thank goodness for Erica, otherwise, I wouldn’t have gotten any Black Sphinx dates this year.

I’ve been having a complete blast being a crazy “Date Santa Claus” handing out dates to my friends and family!

Fruitful Gifts

In fact, I loved the dates so much I had a mail order business called “Fruitful Gifts” in the late 1990s and my signature product was Black Sphinx dates, although I sold them under my trademarked name, “Celebration” dates.

Here’s the story of the origin of Black Sphinx dates from the 2000 “Fruitful Gifts” online catalog.

Newspaper Quotes

My main marketing idea was to send samples to food writers at the top U.S. newspapers and, honestly, many writers LOVED them.

“Melts in your mouth”
Sunset Magazine

“Could anything this rich, dark and luscious really not be chocolate?”
Chicago Sun-Times

“May be the country’s most exquisite natural food”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“They literally melt in your mouth”
Dallas Morning News

“Luscious treats”
San Jose Mercury News

“Super-creamy, delicate treasures”
Salt Lake Tribune

“Rich, creamy and melt in your mouth”
Denver Post

“As different from dried dates as grapes are from raisins”
Houston Chronicle

Not Lost Yet

Unfortunately, I couldn’t make a go of the business.

Fortunately, Erica is still working a few trees and this native Phoenix date variety hasn’t been lost… yet.

To Buy Some Black Sphinx Dates

I don’t know of anyone else selling Black Sphinx dates.

If you would like to buy some, you’ll have to call Erica very soon and arrange to pick them up at Erica’s house in the Date Grove in Arcadia. They’re $8 per ~1 pound box. Contact me for her phone number.

See also “Save the Date – Black Sphinx Dates”.

P.S. I promise to get back to Phoenix real estate market analysis very soon!