The most delicious thing you’ve eaten in Calabria. Something that just blew you away when you tasted it.
As it turns out, my answer is also short and sweet, literally.
The fresh fig.
These are some green ones, not quite ripe yet, on our fig tree taken about a month and a half ago (in one of the last photos of my injured camera).
Don’t you just love the shape of fig leaves? I hear Adam and Eve sure did. Hah!
And here is a much better, nay awesome photo of the “black” variety, which I found through a Flickr search and am using here under a Creative Commons license (great way to *legally* use others’ pretty photos! Notice I did this on the Spaghetti Strike post as well):
I had never eaten a fresh fig before I came here, and man oh man, I had no idea what I was missing. This little seedy (in a good way) fruit is by far my new favorite anything–and like Amanda, I prefer it fresh to any other way.
So that’s my first serving suggestion for figs on this What’s Cooking Wednesday.
How do I eat them? Like P taught me. Cut a cross in the top (the end that used to be connected to the tree) and then peel back the skin one part at a time with the edge of the knife. It’ll come back easily if they’re ripe enough–just do be sure to eat them within a day or two of picking them off the tree. They won’t last much longer than that.
Next, I’m going to point you to my second favorite way to eat figs aside from plain with the juice running down my fingers, and that’s with prosciutto crudo.
Jenn, also known as The Leftover Queen and founder of The Foodie Blogroll, has a great description of this dish here. I was setting up a photo of this about a month ago when I realized my camera was dead, so this is a bit of an emotional plate for me now, but I still love it.
And last but certainly not least, I’m going to go back to the inspiration for this post, Amanda, and send you to her Fresh Figs with Fleur de Sel, Aged Balsamic, and Hazelnuts, which she put up just yesterday, reading my mind on what I was going to talk about today.
So, the fresh fig. Simple, delicious, and quite honestly one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in Calabria or anywhere. I also like them dried and in jams, but fresh? Just. Wow.
Doesn’t need to be complicated to be good folks, so even if figs aren’t your thing or you can’t manage to get them, do try to eat lots of other fresh fruits while they’re still in season.
Pair them with flavors you think would complement one another–sweet and salty is always a good bet. Pears and gorgonzola? Apples and cheddar? Grapes and Parmesan?
Be creative, have fun, and keep an open mind!
You never know when your next favorite food combination could show up.
[tags]figs, what’s cooking wednesday, figs and prosciutto crudo[/tags]