I’ve had a hankering for fresh figs lately. What is surprising is that I have not thought about fresh figs for a long time. They have such a remarkable texture and taste. But where are they?
I have been to a number of supermarkets and asked the produce manager about figs. They looked at me as if I had asked when to expect the next big sale on rutabagas or how to prepare watercress. (I asked for watercress too. Same look).
I looked on the web to see if figs had become extinct. It seems not. They exist in California and Greece. Some sites offered to ship me some but I worry that they would be confiscated as possible bombs. Besides, who can depend on figs he can’t pick up and sniff?
I figured that supermarkets didn’t know what was good and virtuous so I went to health food stores that featured natural stuff. Same look. I was told that, not only did they not have figs, but that figs were not even on their inventory list to be ordered. They couldn’t get figs if they wanted them.
Some of the produce managers felt sorry for me and suggested fig Newton’s or dried figs. Oh, the infidels! Dried figs indeed! How sharper than a serpent’s tooth.
I have two fig trees on my patio, in pots. They have no intention of making figs. In fact, they have a hard enough time holding on to their leaves. I got them at Walmart so I guess I can’t expect them to be more than decorative. (Walmart friends, don’t be upset, I love Walmart; I just don’t think their garden offerings are in the same class as Johnny Appleseed).
So here I stand, figless. I don’t know where to turn. Honor will not permit me to resort to Newton’s or dried figs; one must live up to one’s code.
Jack Wilson is a fig lover suffering in Phoenix.