I've been waiting, watching, hoping for the past few months that my young Brown Turkey fig tree would actually produce some fruit this autumn for the first time. The tree, which is planted in a large oak barrel, is still small and I don't have much experience with fresh figs. In fact, I've only tasted a few before. I wasn't even sure I'd like this variety. Then as each of about a dozen fruits grew fat and plump, my concerns shifted into two categories--weather and wildlife. Problem #1: Would the mild weather we've had all summer be enough to actually ripen and sweeten the figs? And problem #2: If the figs did ripen, would I be able to beat the local varmints that stripped my plum tree earlier this year to my tiny harvest?
But the news is good on both counts. One by one, the figs are softening and turning a gorgeous purply-brown, and so far, the neighborhood squirrels, raccoons and possums are showing no interest in them. So one by one, I'm pulling each precious parcel off the tree. With such a minuscule bounty, each one is a treat to be savored.
There may be no fig jam or home-baked fig newtons this year, but so far there has been diced fig in oatmeal, sliced fig on top of sourdough crispbread spread with soft cheese, and tonight there was fig and feta on top of my salad of baby greens. Each one has been soft and sweet with beautiful deep rose-colored flesh. It is ridiculous how proud I feel of them. They are, after all, just figs.
But oh ... my ... god! What a fruit this is!