Dates, curiosity & travel is how Desert Dust came to life!
I’ve spent my career tour-managing rock n roll bands, traveling the world and collecting culinary souvenirs. Departing from the Palm Springs airport, headed out on the next tour, I was always struck by the lack of a culinary souvenir from the California desert. I wanted to bring gifts from home to share with my coworkers and friends, gifts unique to my home, and there was nothing. Which is odd considering that the Coachella Valley region of the California desert is the largest producer of dates outside the Middle East.
There’s so much more to dates than what you see in your produce aisle: over 2,000 varieties with unique flavor profiles and pedigrees. The fruit of the date palm, one of nature’s superfoods, is high in fiber, low in fat, full of minerals, vitamins & protein and has nourished millions of humans worldwide for centuries.
Date palm trees were transplanted from Algeria to the Coachella Valley in 1903 and since, the valley has become the largest commercial date-producing region in the Western Hemisphere – currently supplying 35 million pounds annually. Since 1947, Indio, California, has been home to the National Date Festival – an annual celebration at the end of date palm harvest season, and a major tourist attraction. During the pandemic, with no tours to manage, I got to work blending ingredients from the California desert to create the ultimate all-purpose seasoning, Desert Dust. Now I’ll never have to leave the desert empty handed and neither will you.