I think I was born innocent and to me a fig was simply a sweet fruit to be picked warmed from the summer sun from a tree growing wild.
Several years ago during a stay on the magical island of Tilos in the Dodecanese I wandered round a deserted village walking on top of the ruined house walls eating greedily on small juicy figs plucked from the trees growing wild in the decaying walls.
Fresh figs are a wonderful accompanyment to prosciutto, and a refreshing change from melon. They also make a good filling for short-crust biscuits.
Fig leaves have been used by painters through the centuries to conceal genitalia since Adam and Eve first hid in the garden of Eden, but I can never think of them again in those simple terms….
At dusk the other evening wandering at leisure (or more precisely walking off an all together too good dinner) through a small Umbrian hill-top town in the company of Paolo and Harald we got to discussing fruit, its delights, tasted and our preferences. Paolo opted for apricots warmed by the Scicilian sun and Harald for figs.
In all innocence I asked why figs???
Well, Harald explained he found them the most erotic of fruit, he loves the feeling of them, the weight, shape and texture and that when plucked they emitted a creamy white liquid. What specifically did he mean I wondered? “Oh come on Alec” he said, they are just like mouthwatering, testicle ball sacs… and my goodness how he is right.
I can never look at or feel another fig in my hand in the same way again, my life is much enriched!