My parents live in San Jose, CA. And fall is fig season.
When I come to visit this time of year, I usually pay a visit to the gigantic fig tree in my parents' backyard within the first 24 hours of my arrival.
Anyway, figs. The tree is huge, the largest fig tree I've ever seen. It holds its own against the tall oak trees in the yard. Here is a picture of a typical pantsless human one-year-old standing in front of the tree, for purposes of scale:
The tree always tricks me because at first blush it appears fruitless. A closer inspection reveals a tree laden with gems. They're hard to photograph because the tree canopy casts quite a shadow.
I've seen pictures of fresh figs for sale and they usually look like the fig above: round and plump, with a dark skin. If you break such a fig open, it'll probably have pink insides that fade to white near the skin. These are tasty figs. They have a fresh, moist flavor. Very earthy. I like them like this. But in my opinion, those figs aren't really "done." This is a picture of a fig that, in my opinion, looks absolutely ripe to perfection.
When you break open a really ripe fig, it will have almost no white flesh left. The flesh looks like, tastes like, and has the consistency of jam. It is delicious, sweet without saccharin overtones (don't get me started on fig jam recipes and the unreasonable amounts of sugar they usually call for), and sticky like honey. Beautiful, isn't it?
Baby Lemon and I spent the afternoon out in the yard, picking figs and observing the acorns, moss, rocks, and various creepy crawlies back there.
We even walked over to the neighbor's fence to see if we could spy on her chickens. No luck, though. Feathers around the yard, but no other sign of them. The neighbor has a great lettuce garden right now and her young apple trees are bearing a ton of fruit. Lucky lady!
I have a few plans for these figs (and the others that are dropping off that tree all day). I think a fig and nut coffee cake sounds nice, or some figs crushed and spread on sourdough bread with some prosciutto and parmesan cheese, and maybe a few leaves of arugula.