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The Tale of the Figuier


Ilove the fig season. We go for long walks with grandma, dad, mum and my little brother. It’s the end of the summer and not so hot. Most of the time, we go to Nézignan-L’Evêque in the Hérault, home to the “bécos figos”(becques figs) as they are called as they have a very long tradition of growing figs. But me, what I like best is to go to the Farigoulade, at the end of August, or even at the Fig fest in October in the medieval city of Vézénobres. You can taste more than a hundred different type of figs, all with funny names like Madeleine of the 2 seasons, Sultane, Abicou, Gold ball…We were told that for centuries in Vézénobres, the tradition was that the figs were laid to dry under the “calaberts”, covered terraces facing south, or hung along the walls of the houses. From this the inhabitants were called “Penja figas”, which means “those who hang figs”.

Back at home, we used to gorge ourselves on the pink and sweet, slightly bitsy flesh of the fresh figs. Sometimes mum would serve them with a slice of cured ham and some goat cheese as a starter. Grandma, she was the queen of the jams and the chutneys – so good with the Christmas foie gras or with a roast. But we always keep some to dry out and cut into small pieces that we mix to the biscuit dough…always a success when we have unexpected visitors.

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