• sondra bernstein

What the Fig?

Some may think that I would lean towards having juicy, luscious figs all year round, but in fact they would be misled. Part of my infatuation with figs is their interesting lifeline. Figs generally have two harvests each year, the first (sometimes as early as June depending where you live) is called ‘breba’, which include the figs from the growth of last year’s branches. The second, more prominent and larger harvest comes after a bit of a gap (could be a week or so, or maybe a month). These figs are from new branches that have grown within the year.

Though there are many fig trees in Sonoma, our needs are great and many of our figs come from the Fresno area. Oftentimes, the only way we know that the breba season is over is a call from one of our purveyors telling us that we are gapping and it often comes with a price fluctuation.

photographs from figs4fun.com

During the gap, we juggle our menu from fresh figs to dried figs and back again from dried figs to fresh figs. I really think it would be a shame not to do our juggling game. I want my figs to taste like the season that it is, the time of year that I call early summer, the heat of the summer or late fall. I don’t mind the juice dripping down my chin from the intense sweetness from the sun, and I look forward to the search for the season’s most perfect fig.

I am not sure I would be as obsessed with figs if I could have them anytime at all – somehow takes the mystery and romance out of fig season!

photographs from figs4fun.com

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