Figured It Out

I hope you like the title but if not, it should be discarded with its source, the fig:

TJ's fig: day one, bitter; day two, slightly sweeter but mushy

TJ's fig: day one, bitter; day two, slightly sweeter but mushy

I’ve been to three local groceries and gotten three different reject-a-figs: bitter, mushy, or bland.  (This came as a sharp surprise because the one I’d had last Saturday in Las Vegas was incredible, awesome.  If a fruit can be “decadent,” this fig was that!) The one above is from Trader Joe’s and it was my third attempt at finding a fine fig.

A fine fig apparently looks like this:

Fig in salad at Carnival of Cuisine

Fig in salad at Carnival of Cuisine

The fruit is bright red.  Firm but supple, juicy.  I confess, I’d never before, to my recollection, eaten a fig!  Where had I been?  It was delicious.  I didn’t make much mention of it in my other post because I figured most people already know about the fig.  Then I tried to find an enjoyable one locally and I couldn’t.  I never thought the fig would be shifty!

Wait.  I’ve just maligned a fruit without doing but cursory research.  I’m going to pop online to see what’s up with the fig…

OH!  It isn’t “shifty” as much as it is “delicate”: last section from FIG Fruit Facts

Commercial potential: Because of losses in transport and short shelf life, figs are a high-value fruits of limited demand. The best outlet is direct sale at roadside or farmers markets, but do not permit handling of the fruit. Figs for shipping are collected daily just before they reach the fully ripe stage, but yield to a soft pressure, usually indicated by small cracks in the skin. They should be immediately refrigerated. For commerce, choose a cultivar that parts readily from the branch and does not tear the neck.”

Well, that explains it.  It figures that I’ve fallen for a fruit that, in its most palatable form, will be hard to come by.  It’s a fussy fruit; I can respect that.  All the more reason to appreciate when paying restaurant prices for the fine fig.

This experience reminds me of times when I’ve tried a food in the past and not liked it.  I wouldn’t try it again!  Luckily, this time, I came across the fine fig first.  Had I come across the supermarket figs, I would have forever dismissed them as “awful” and never looked back.

What I’ve figured out is a new mantra: “I’ll try everything not just once, but until I’m satisfied that it’s not wonderful.”  There’s new hope for sauerkraut and peas!

These figs have shared their secret, “Something can be both awesome as well as awful.”  And you?

I know it’s crazy, a “fig poll” right?  But, my experience has shown me, there is great wisdom in the fig.  I want to know more.


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Filed under Food and Drink, Off the Plate of a Culinary Illiterate

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