REMINISCENCE
SYLAN (DATE SYRUP)
THIS IS THE WAY THEY USED TO HOME MANUFACTURE THE
SYLAN. TO THE KITCHEN HOUSE TWO OR THREE BIG BASKETS
CONTAINIG DATES WERE UNLOADED. THEN TWO SPECIALISTS
WOULD COME WITH THEIR WODEN PRESS AND A LOT OF
"HELANAT" (BIG POUCHES WOVEN FROM PALM TREE LEAVES).
THEY WOULD UNLOAD THEIR EQUIPMENT AND THEN ASSEMBLE
THE PRESS IN THE KITCHEN HOUSE. IN A BIG POT, OVER A
WOODEN FIRE, THEY WOULD PUT DATES AND SOME WATER AND
THEN COOK THE DATES UNTILL THEY WERE SOFT AND MUSHY.
THEY WOULD THEN FILL THE "HELANAT" WITH THE SOFTENED
DATES AND STACK THEM ONE OVER THE OTHER IN THE PRESS.
THEN THEY WOULD START TURNING THE WOODEN SCREW OF
THE PRESS AND A HONEY-LIKE JUICE WOULD POUR IN SPECIAL
CONTAINERS "TASHT". WHEN EACH CONTAINER WAS
PARTIALLY FILLED IT WAS CARRIED TO THE ROOF THEN
COVERED BY A LIGHT SHEET AND LEFT FOR A FEW DAYS FOR
THE SYRUP TO THICKEN. THE SYLAN WAS STORED IN BIG
GLAZED JARS "B'GHANI".