©2009 Amuse-bouche for Two
It's official, I love figs. Up until about 5 years ago, I had never even tasted a fig. I'm almost ashamed to admit it. But when one is involved with an Italian and fig trees grow abundantly (or used to) in the neighborhood you live in, you can't not grow to love figs.
This morning I ate the fig you see pictured at the beginning of this post. It was pulled just 12 short hours before from a fig tree growing across the street. One of only a few figs that are currently ripening in the first phase of fig mania.
Where's our fig tree, you ask? Our fig tree, probably the most ample of all fig trees in Highlandtown was lovingly cut down. It was a painful decision, one that wasn't made lightly. One of the oldest fig trees in the neighborhood, it produced mountains of fruit. But the swarms of birds using it as their all you can eat buffet was destroying our flagstone patio and newly structured fence. As the birds pecked away, the sweet milky juice dropped to the ground followed by the eventual rotting fruit. This was followed up with flies. You couldn't walk to the garage without being attacked and the surrounding garden was also suffering.
As the heat and humidity start to swell, so do the figs. Sticky sweet, they can be eaten alone or paired with any number of things. If you're feeling adventurous, try figs spread on a good toasted bread with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. You can also enjoy a sandwich of sliced fig and manchego on a crunchy baguette. At their peak, their perfect mixed in with plain yogurt.