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126 (FF: Figs | イチジク)

July 8, 2011

The first time I ate a fresh fig (and not in the form of a Fig Newton) was in my early 30’s. I was in the fruit and vegetable market in Tsukiji, Tokyo (next to the famous fish market) on a location scout for an American cooking reality show. One of our clients was an Israeli living in the States, and he offered one of the figs he picked up at a fruit vendors for me to try. The whole experience enhanced my impression of figs as an “exotic fruit” even more, what with the Israeli producer and the fruit vendor that was selling all other kinds of rare and exotic fruits that you don’t see in a typical grocery store in Japan.

私が初めて生のイチジクを食べたのは30代前半でした。築地の青果市場(有名な魚市場の隣)で、アメリカの料理リアリティー番組のためクライアントとロケハンをしていた時のこと。クライアントの1人はアメリカに住むイスラエル人。彼がある果物屋さんで買ったイチジクを一つくれたのでした。イスラエル人プロデューサーと、イチジクの他にも一般のスーパーではみかけないようなフルーツをたくさん売っていた果物屋さんのコンビネーションは強烈で、私の「イチジクはエキゾチックな果物」という印象を更に裏付けるものになりました。

In Israel, figs seem to fall in the common fruit category. Fig trees are in abundance and right now it’s hard to miss the lovely scent released by their blooming fruits. They have their very own designated section in the grocery store along with the apples, grapes, nectarines. Unlike what I would expect for them to have in a Japanese grocery store (if they are sold in the first place), jumbled in some obscure corner of the fruits section along with other rare and highly priced items.

I think I may have a very minor allergy to figs because every time I eat one I get a faint itch on my tongue, although it’s barely noticeable and goes away very quickly. It’s certainly not stopping me from eating them – a new acquired taste of mine!

イスラエルでは、イチジクは「一般的なフルーツ」部門に入るようです。イチジクの木はそこら中にあるし、今は実ってるフルーツから甘〜いにおいがします。スーパーではリンゴやぶどう、ピーチなどと並んで、堂々と専用のセクションを持っています。日本では、売られていたとしても果物売り場の片隅で、他の高価で旬ではないめずらしい果物と共に置かれているような気がするのですが。

私はイチジクに対してちょっとしたアレルギーを持っているようです。毎回食べると、舌がかすかにチクチク、ヒリヒリ。すぐになくなる程度なのですがね。でもおいしいので気にせずに食べてしまいます!

I hope you’re enjoying seasonal fruits wherever you may be, friends—
皆様もお住まいの地域の旬のフルーツを満喫していますよう、

Much love,
Kaori

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sammi Moe permalink
    July 14, 2011 3:24 am

    When I was a child we used to get fig milkshakes from a place in the desert near Palm Springs, California. The desert in that area has fig groves too. And dates as well. Do they have dates in Isreal? They are similar to figs, but have pits instead of seeds.
    Be careful about any allergy. It might be just a sensitivity. I am not able to eat raw pineapple, but can eat it if cooked. perhaps you should try to bake something with the figs and see if the itching happens.
    Take care!
    Sammi

    • July 14, 2011 5:20 pm

      Fig milkshakes…sounds delicious! Yes, we do have many dates trees around here. I never even knew what they looked like until I came to Israel!

      I’m thinking about trying to bake homemade Fig Newtons, but maybe in a few months because just the thought of turning on the oven in this heat makes me sweat!

      I hope you’re staying cool Sammi🙂

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