When I was at boarding school, somewhere round about eight years of age, my friend and partner in crime, Nova and I were caught by Matron one morning eating toothpaste. We knew we were for it, God save the mark and perish the memory; a fate worse than death; a large dose of Syrup Of Figs, and for no other reason than that she knew it made us feel sick. Try as we might, we couldn't get rid of the taste. It hung on for hours
Wet or dry I have hated figs ever since. Even the word brings back the taste and the nausea. They evern look as they should smell unspeakable.
Yesterday evening, however, Alice, (bless her) changed my life. She walked towards me laden with fresh-from-the-tree figs. I've never seen fresh figs before, but when she told me what they were, that horrid taste came back to me. She offered me a couple, but I refused as politely as I could, but my daughter, Holly accepted them with glee. "Mum, they're yummy!" she exclaimed. "Not a bit like the figs you buy at Christmas." They were pear shaped and green and not at all like what I'd been brought up with.
Tentatively I ate a piece. This wasn't fig! This was glorious; sweet and juicy. I felt a bit like "Mole" in "The Wind In The Willows" ("oh, my, oh, my1")
Now I'm on a mission......Leave figs alone! don't liquidise them or dry them. Why do we have to mess things around? They're wonderful straight from the tree.
Oh, by the way, whoever thought up sun dried tomatoes?