There’s something in the air around this time of year… You want to soak in the last bit of summer for as long as you can before September hits. Well, in So Cal there isn’t much of a change in seasons, but just hearing the word “September” makes me think that it’s all over, and fall will be here, and that means holiday season—I don’t know if I’m ready to accept that yet! There have been many varieties of fruit that hit their peak this summer, and I can tell that I don’t have much longer to take advantage of their explosive full flavor. Back to frozen imports pretty soon. One of my favorite near-end of summer fruits is figs. Unfortunately, I find that their flavor is often temperamental and unpredictable. Buy them too early and the outer skin is too thick, and they lack that certain sweet and slightly tart flavor. Get them too late and their flavor is muted and the flesh mealy. But when you get them when they are juuuust right… then you have something to smile about.
: TIP : When shopping for figs, try to find ones that look plump—droopy, shriveled figs will be mushy and dull in flavor. Ones that don’t really give much when you gently press them are too under ripe and will not have any flavor and will have tough skin. Take the time to be picky. Be that weirdo in the produce isle who’s feeling up all of the fruit! It’s worth it, trust me.
At their best, they deserve to be left untouched and only complemented with other companions. My favorite is fresh ricotta and honey. I love the texture of the milky ricotta curds, mixed with some delicately floral honey. By the way, please opt to skip the honey that comes in that little bear, and take a few extra cents and buy some better quality stuff. There are SO many varieties and health benefits to the other honey from across the world.
My favorite is by a company called Agrimontana who makes so many varieties straight from Italy. The one worth buying is the miele d’Acacia — honey from the Piedimonte region made from Acacia flowers. I’m obsessed with in because it stays in its luscious liquid form and does not crystallize in the jar like other brand name honey. It’s got such a light, golden color and a delicate floral and almost vanilla essence to it. There are tons of honey from all different kinds of flowers—orange blossom, eucalyptus, thyme; from Italy, Greece, Egypt. Give international bees a chance!!