Long ago, when California was considered exotic and paradisiacal, dates were an emblem of its appeal. Grown in the stately palm groves of the Coachella Valley, the luxury fruit inspired a drink that has gone beyond the desert and has been embraced by all of Southern California: the date shake. As if an ordinary milk shake weren’t sweet and creamy-rich enough, chopped dates blended in with the ice cream make this beverage more sumptuous than manna itself. Some of the best date shakes in the area are made just off I-10 at Hadley's Fruit Orchard. Concocted using date crystals rather than chopped-up dates, these prodigious drinks are thick but still mostly suckupable … unless you get a hunk of date stuck in the straw. They are available in regular, large, and giant sizes, the last as satisfying as a pint of superpremium ice cream. For further enrichment, bananas may be included in the shake.
Hadley company history says that Paul Hadley is the man who invented trail mix – "a nutritious snack food to sustain hikers in the neighboring San Jacinto Mountains." Hadley's original trail mix includes Ruby raisins, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, peanuts, almonds and cashews. It is available salted and not, raw or roasted, and in more modern variations that include a spicy/hot combo, an Aztec mix with chocolate dots and an "Orient meets West" mix that features crispy green peas and sesame sticks.