Looking at the ingredients to this recipe got me to wondering if lard is still available. It is, and a simple Google search will tell you where to buy it, if you are so inclined. While doing a little research about lard I found out it is making a bit of a resurgence among foodies, because of the unique properties it can bring to baking and cooking and, according to Wikipedia, “despite its reputation, lard has less saturated fat, more unsaturated fat, and less cholesterol than an equal amount of butter by weight. Unlike many margarines and vegetable shortenings, unhydrogenated lard contains no trans fat.”As for this recipe, I am not a fan of dates, but I suppose you could substitute any number of other fruits. But then, of course, they would no longer be Date Bars.