FIGS, the sweet taste of summer

It is easy to think of figs as backup singers instead of summer’s superstars. Competing with cherries, plums, peaches, melons, strawberries, figs usually go forgotten. Yet who can deny the pleasure of eating a fig on the point of bursting? Lush mouthfuls of perfumed and unquestionably sensual soft pink flesh?

A fig’s best time is so fleeting, and even so, it must always be handled delicately. Perhaps that is why they don’t figure prominently in today’s fast moving pace. But splitting open and enjoying a fig at that perfect moment is one of the sublime pleasures of summer.

With this plate of figs I am saying goodbye to hot Madrid. I leave at the end of the day on a road trip through the Alentejo. Five days without a computer, a mobile, reservations or plans. Alentejo – literally, beyond the Tagus River - is the province of Portugal that confines with Spain’s Extremadura. It is a mystical place, where the fig and the olive of ancient Roman and Moorish times fit in with a current way of life. In my next entry I will show you Alentejo.


  1. Wow, have fun and a safe journey. Look forward to seeing where you're going.

    The sounds and music growing up you heard must have been quite magical. Having heard some early recordings, that must have made up for the lack of other things in that environment.

    What lives we all live, eh?


  2. Have a wonderful journey away from the heat of Madrid. I'll be watching for your return to cyber space.

  3. The figs look so wonderful I can almost taste them! And what an excellent picture as well!

    Thanks for the visit, I am delighted to have found your blog - and for just getting started you have an amazing way with words - and pictures as well! Thank you for sharing some of your life and time in this way. I want to come visit, and have figs. :)

  4. Hi Celeste Maia,

    The figs look lovely can taste them.

    Have a good trip and pick up your A Hoy Award when you are back.

  5. Ah! this whole blog is a lovely journey!
    ¡graçais! safe travels! christina

  6. Oh, I would so love to have a real just picked fig. I first ate them as a small child at my grandmother's place in Italy. It was a revelatory experience. I should have remembered to put that in my food memoirs (earlier posts on my blog).

    Have a wonderful trip. I can't wait to read and see your posts. I know they will make me want to go to all those places.

  7. I forgot to leave a note to accompany your luscious figs. Have a great trip. Enjoy your time without modern communications. We will rejoice to see you again.

  8. Your picture of figs and their description rivals D.H. Lawrence!
    Imagining you in the Alentejo, where it is hot as well, and so different. What amazing images will you share with us?
    Figs: At the end of the three water tanks you painted so well at Mateus, there was a huge fig tree that I used to climb as a child to bring down some perfect gifs... luscious memories!

  9. O Alentejo é magnético. Não é como"um dia de férias da Pátria",como diz Torga referindo-se ao Algarve.
    Cola-se ao ser,entra dentro dele e fica.E fica.E fica...
    Vai apanhar chuva.O que é raro e um bom presságio.
    um beijinho

  10. I look forward to seeing your photos of Alentejo, which sounds magical.

  11. Good morning Celeste. I am back from my travels to cool, cool Oregon, now enduring triple digit heat of the California valley. And you are off now for disconnected and unplanned travel. That is just the best way to go, I think. I look forward to seeing pictures and reading stories upon your return.


    p.s. Love fig preserves with butter on toast. Sublime.

  12. Mmmm, figs. We had a fig tree growing behind our house when I was a teenager and I LOVED them.

    I hope you're having a lovely time!