A walk to the fig tree

On my mother in laws farm out in the countryside from Sinagra in the hamlet of Contrada Melia there is a fig tree whose branches are weighed down with an abundant harvest.

 

In the summer Sicilian’s become like frugivorous animals living off the fruit and vegetable that are the products of their garden and the countryside. So my husband, son and I were obliged to take a walk to the fig tree to gather its bountifulness.

 

The only problem is the tree is hidden deep blow a steep precipice hidden behind overgrown bushes and prickly vines. So a simple walk to a fig tree became a trek through the Sicilian undergrowth.

 

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This is where we climbed down. I dare anyone to see a path! That’s because there wasn’t one.
©Rochelle Del Borrello 2013

According to my son’s fruitful imagination we were deep in the jungle. In reality we were making a path through the steep, rocky and abandoned countryside. I was imagining twisted ankles, ripped clothes and thorns.

 

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Father and son cutting a path through the forest.
© Rochelle Del Borrello 2013

 

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In the deep dark wood.
© Rochelle Del Borrello 2013

After literally cutting a path through the brier bushes we were rewarded by a pleasant walk through the shade of overgrown hazelnut trees in a pathway well hidden from the still burning afternoon sun littered with small berries that Matty loves to eat.

 

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Looking through the overgrowth to discover the abandoned hazelnut trees.
©Rochelle Del Borrello
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Delicious wild berries, prickly but delicious.
©Rochelle Del Borrello

 

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A spectacular tree.
P.S: can you spy someone up it?
©Rochelle Del Borrello 2013

When we finally reached the fig tree we received the most indulgent reward, an elaborate tree filled with lush mature fruit.

 

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A beautifully ripe fig together with the promise of a good second harvest on the way.
©Rochelle Del Borrello 2013

There is something viscerally satisfying about eating fresh fruit from the tree. Picking the most succulent figs the white sap bleeds onto your hands and the fig seems to split open by itself as you place it up to your mouth.

 

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A fig in hand …
©Rochelle Del Borrello 2013
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The birds get the best ones.
©Rochelle Del Borrello 2013

While slurping up my first fig of the summer I remember how renaissance Italian poets used the image of the fig as an erotic metaphor for female genitalia. Even today in the Italian vernacular a sensually attractive woman is a ‘bella figa’. This gives eating a fig a provocative quality.

 

Who would have thought biting into a fig could be so kinky?

 

wcm0046

2 thoughts on “A walk to the fig tree

  1. Do you know what those wild berries are called? We had some the other day – they look like blackberries but taste much different. They were delicious!

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    1. They are wild blackberries in Italian mori. Yes they are quite tasty, my three year old can’t get enough of them. They are also wonderful in muffins and sprinkled upon trifles.

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