Fresh Figs

fresh figs 2

‘I’m really sorry, you’re going to have to help me out here’, said the young man at the checkout.  ‘What is this?’

‘It’s a fresh fig’, I smiled, trying my best not to look condescending.  After all, I am very lucky and have eaten many a fresh fig or dried fig, be it on it’s own, or ensconced in a dessert of some kind in my lifetime but there are a million and one things I’ve yet to try.  Therefore, who am I to judge another’s life experience.

Interestingly, although fresh figs are not high on our shopping lists of ‘must have’s in autumn’, the fig is in our cultural conscience thanks to a little ditty about figgie pudding which does the rounds at Christmas.  Something I think many of us will have joined in with, ‘in a hearty fashion’, after one too many sweet sherries.  Or is that just me?  Anyway, I digress.

Despite fresh figs appearing like purple teardrops in a sea of orange around this time of year, they do not seem to be as widely eaten as you would imagine, and that is a real shame.  I mean, what is not to love?  They have the most glorious deep matt purple skins, and have a wonderful onion dome shape to them, which is always so appealing to me.

Then you slice inside and a firework display of colour explodes before your very eyes.  It’s beautiful.

Of course the thing about food is that you buy it to eat it.  And this is also where I feel the fig excels.  The skin is sweet, but not overpowering, chewy but not rubbery. The flesh inside is delicate, almost peach like in texture, and has a subtle sweetness to it that leaves your palette feeling fresh.

I have to say, they are glorious, and, at the moment, there’s a whole heap of them in the shops.  So if you do just one thing this weekend, treat yourself to a fresh fig, you won’t be disappointed.

Just a little word of warning though, when slicing the fig, be sure not to cut through it with a knife you’ve just been using to chop onions…

 *blushes at rookie mistake*


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