I don't give a fig (except to family and maybe close friends)


The fig season is in full swing, not the weird tasteless mainstream Turkish pebbles that turn up and intermittently punish us, but the tremendously exciting often extravagantly priced sensation overwhelming sensory explosions which joyously punctuate my current grocery shopping trips.
As I stupidly went to France just too early this year the neighbours trees were in flower and not in fruit so no bumper box of joy, instead sad face every time I caught sight of the missed opportunity (life really is a lot about timing). Instead I’ve had to wait until the good stuff trickles into the UK and then hover around various independent grocers hoping to hit a mother lode and filling my boots when I can. Highlights so far have been perfumed, aromatic, liquid nectar Portugese greens and the current batch of deceive to flatter [is that a phrase] French blacks. In between some so-so Spanish blacks which looked great but were too firm and tasteless (like unripe avocados).
Without a shadow of a doubt figs are my favourite food and would be my desert island essential, they are one of the earliest foods cultivated by man, have helped to maintain modesty in biblical times (“would you Adam&Eve’it”) , a complete meal (probably), are incredibly good for you as they contain high levels of everything. My list of things I’d very much like to do in life (bucket list is such a stupid phrase) include growing my own figs which, if global warming continues, I might not need to move country

a simple code for a slightly better life;
1. Eat whole figs torn in half (after biting off the stem). This ceremony is part of the unbridled joy, the whole thing is a pleasure and a treasure and the texture and astringent taste of the skin (and particularly the stem) further accentuates the glorious sweetness and depth of the fruit.
2. Eat them as nature intended unless they are really hard or dried out (bad luck), recipes [goats cheese, honey], bacon, blah blah] detract from the pure flavour and enjoyment. Save the frippery for dried figs.
3. The best figs are those which seem almost too soft too touch, overripe and on the verge of collapse, almost oozing nectar from the base. Insects are a good guide [also Eastern Mediterraneans], if they are buzzing around then the figs are more likely to be splendid. This is especially true if you are foraging.
4. Appearance means little, amazing uniform symmetrical shiny figs often taste pointless whilst conversely their dull, tatty, bruised manky cousins taste great.
5. Pre-packed figs are always too firm [and difficult to finger], I can regularly be seen squeezing every fig in a crate box to the mild bemusement of my fellow shoppers.
6. Figs bought from chillers are rubbish, unripe, too firm and not worth the effort.
7. Figs should not be refrigerated at home, they react badly and tend to develop mould whilst losing flavour.
8. Whole figs are an acquired tatste, persever and you will be rewarded. The boy is a convert whilst little miss suggests they are "yukky"; more fool her and more for us.

Following these simple rules will improve your life; good figs are magnificent and bad figs are appalling, in the same fashion as olives and avocadoes.

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