Now with respect to what is called the Brain of the Palm.—Theophrastus, speaking of the plant of the palm-tree, states, “The manner of cultivating it, and of its propagation from the fruit, is as follows: when one has taken off the upper rind, one comes to a portion in which is what is called the brain.” And Xenophon, in the second book of the Anabasis, writes as follows: “There, too, the soldiers first ate the brain of the palm or date-tree. And many of them marvelled at its appearance, and at the peculiarity of its delicious flavour. But it was found to have a great tendency to produce headache; but the date, when the brain was taken out of it, entirely dried up.” Nicander says in his Georgics—
And at the same time cutting off the branchesAnd Diphilus the Siphnian states—“The brains of the dates are filling and nutritious; still they are heavy and not very digestible: they cause thirst, too, and constipation of the stomach.” But we, says Athenæus, O my friend Timocrates, shall appear to keep our brains to the end, if we stop this conversation and the book at this point.
Loaded with dates they bring away the brain,
A dainty greatly fancied by the young.