For the Love of Fig

In an unusually beguiling and captivating article in the Los Angeles Times, food writer Russ Parsons delves into our fascination for the delectable and increasingly popular fruit, the fig …

IT is almost impossible to describe a fresh fig without veering into pornography. The skin is nearly human in its tenderness. And the pulp within is as luscious as some exotic cross between fruit jam and honey. You don’t so much bite into a fig as engage it in a long, sweet kiss.

hey’re so beautiful and so fragile-seeming that you’d think they must be available only at the most exclusive markets and at the highest prices. But fresh figs are now showing up in mainstream stores, costing not that much more than an out-of-season apple… Though they are one of the oldest domesticated fruits in the world, mentioned repeatedly in the Bible, figs are a brand new food to most Americans. A recent survey found that only 9% of consumers had knowingly eaten a fig — dried or fresh — in the last year … in the 1990s could happen again. That’s when the company that then owned the Fig Newton brand began experimenting with using other fruit as fillings — apples, berries and more. It was a classic example of what business schools call brand cannibalization…

Do yourself a favor and read this entire article and think of it as you pass the growing displays of fresh figs on your grocery shelves … whether the fig is a Black Mission, Calimyrna and Kadota, you’ll treasure the sweet, seductive taste and texture …

Seduction by Fig (LA Times)
Making the Most of Figs (BBC.CO.UK)

posted by Melissa Goodman

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