We're holidaying in the South of France right now, enjoying every minute and every morsel of delicious, crusty bread, creamy cheese and perfect red wine, but I have also been spoiled with all the fresh fruit at this time of year. We've had juicy muscat grapes, tiny green plums, apples, almonds and pears right from the trees, and today, I thought I had died and gone to heaven, fresh, heavy, ripe, sweet figs from the tree to my mouth.
JL asked me last night if I would be interested in coming with him and the neighbour to a fig tree in the middle of a friends vineyard to pick enough figs to make confiture and figues confites. Would I? The question didn't need to be asked! So off we went this morning with our hooks and baskets to a beautiful, huge vineyard with rows and rows of merlot, cinsault and chardonnay grapes among others. I had a taste of the merlot grapes as we walked, sweet and lovely, even though the neighbour said they were the worst eating grape.
The fig tree was so big you could see it from miles away in the middle of the rows of grapes, but it was only when we got close the the smell overcame us. That unmistakeable perfume of ripe figs and fig leaves, earthy and sweet, the smell of the sunshine and the South of France for me.
We picked quite a few and tasted a few in the process. JL wanted me to taste one from the tree and then one that had fallen to see the difference. The freshly plucked fig was cool, perfumed and lightly sweet, the fallen fig was warm, super sweet and concentrated, almost like it was full of honey. Both were sublime.
Here are some photos to look at while you plan your next holiday to the beautiful South of France.