I am in Cairo, and fresh dates have suddenly appeared in all the fruit stands over town in three colors -- red, yellow and brown. We bought some red ones last night, and they are hard as rocks. I suppose you leave them out to ripen (?), but once they are soft, are they just for eating out of hand, or has anyone actually cooked with them? We assumed that they would be edible as sold, but one bite told us otherwise! Any info would be appreciated!