I was out at a friend's house this weekend and he pointed out that his date palms were heavy with fruit. He said the birds were getting to a lot of them, knocking many to the ground. We talked a little about when to harvest them to dry them. I picked up a green date from the ground. It was hard, like an unripe olive. I cut it open with my Carter neck knife. It was dense and bitter, with no sweetness at all, like a really green unripe apple. We concluded that drying the dates is pointless until they develop some sugar -- so we wait until later in the summer.
I had put the neck knife away after the most casual wipe on my jeans. When I took it out later to clean it, I noticed a section of patina where the blade had cut through the date. It was like a gun blue. I washed the blade, dried it well, and oiled it. The blue section looked really good.
I think this might make a good medium to force a patina on carbon blades. I'm going to run by and grab some of his green dates and try it out. I'll keep you all posted.
BTW -- the neck knife's cutting edge is White steel; the cladding is soft stainless, hammer finished.
I'm going to try rubbing cut dates on the rest of the white steel edge of the neck knife, the cutting edge of my Carter Funayuki (aogami super), and all over my Sabatier carbon.