Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fig Lust

I'm in trouble.

Edible Memphis assigned me to write a story on figs, which are the most voluptuous, sensual fruit on the planet. It’s easy to go on about them endlessly, and in terms that
aren’t entirely appropriate for that venue. I’ve decided to start my fig ponderings right here, so I can purge the questionable stuff from my system. Otherwise I’ll never get my article written—or at least I won’t be writing one they can publish.

In Animal House, the film classic that exemplifies college life at its most scholastically rich and enlightening (
har har), frat boy Otter encounters the dean’s wife in the fruit & veg section at the grocery, and the two begin a discussion on the sensual merits of particular produce. They never get around to talking about figs, which is a good thing, for the movie's rating could have easily have plunged from R to X—or NC-17, if they’d had that rating then.

I suffer from fig lust. I think the fig is the sexiest fruit of all. Because it looks so . . . uh, it tastes so . . . um, it feels so . . .
hmm, maybe this isn't the appropriate venue either. Figs inspire all sorts of scandalous prose and salacious imagery, and I don't want to veer into the pornographic here.

But if your only exposure to figs is the dried ones or those abominable cookies, you really don't know what you're missing. And you'll be gobsmacked with delight when you find your first real one, especially if you can pull it off the tree yourself and chomp right into it on the spot, supremely fresh and unmolested by a refrigerator stay. You'll remember it with the fondness you hold for the memory of your first kiss or your first flesh-to-flesh engagement of whatever kind. Even when you find fresh figs in the grocery, they're most likely bruised and sad. They're just too fragile to ship very well. You HAVE to have your own fig tree. In fact, Andy and I planted one in our backyard a couple of weeks ago. We're wishing we had planted one as soon as we bought our house, since we were moving from a rental house with an incredibly prolific fig tree in the yard, and we yearned to have that generous supply of sweet, slurpy goodness right there at our disposal. We were spoiled, too spoiled ever to settle for dried figs again. Until this one begins to produce, we'll continue to haunt the yards of our friends who have mature fig trees.

Figs are so luscious and sweet, so succulent and sinfully tasty, you want to fall face down into them, wallowing, slurping and writhing in total depravity (see why I have to get this out of my system!?), luxuriating in their sweetness and textural wickedness. At least that's MY reaction to them.

I don't think this is working. If anyone ever publishes a magazine called Fig Lust, I'll be a contributing editor. And now I have to get busy writing a g-rated article on figs. This isn't going to be easy.


Cindy Mc said...

HEY-watch the abominable labels, missy! I happen to love those abominable cookies. Anyway, I don't know that I've ever had a fresh fig, and now you've piqued my interest. Will fig trees grow in Memphis? Probably not--we get too cold (hah) in the winter.

Cindy Mc said...

sorry, me again--how do you get the comments to actually show on your blog site? I've tried changing every logical setting I can to make mine do that, and it won't.

Hungry Passport said...

Right now you're the only person I know who loves the f'ing newtons--say, that would make a good name for a band... Anyway, I'm writing a piece for Edible Memphis on figs, and yes, there ARE fig trees in Memphis, although they're heartier varieties than the mission figs you find in California. Maybe you can put out the call on your blog and find someone with a fig tree around town. Surely there's someone who knows someone who knows someone . . .

As for comments, go to "customize" and then to "settings." You can set up the comments the way you want them there.