I’m amazed at the amount of memories a food or smell can bring to the forefront of my mind. Take these figs.
Photo credit: Nutsonline.com
They are a simple, sweet-tasting fruit, but over this past weekend I bought a bag of dried figs because I haven’t had any luck buying fresh figs. I’ve been wanting to try a fresh fig for a while since I learned it’s a popular fruit in Italy not to mention that I seem to recall my grandma liked to eat them. I have also discovered recipes on blogs and in cookbooks using figs in anti-pasti dishes therefore I was on a fig finding quest. Sounds silly but there you have it.
Photo credit: Whole Foods blog
Figs are an oval shaped fruit that grows on trees/bushes and originated in Asia. They eventually found their way to Greece and almost all of Europe by the 1600’s. Figs are somewhat of a delicate fruit with a thin skin, they don’t store or transport well so one must typically eat it from the country of origin. Figs were one of the first cultivated fruits and today there are over 600 varieties. Most figs are dried for transportation and distribution purposes.
Figs are a very healthy snack because they contain no fat, no saturated fats, sodium or cholesterol. They are full of vitamins and minerals that are good for us.
Onto the memory link to figs-I bought some dried Mission figs, a common variety grown in California, and today I dug into the bag. After the first bite, I was taken back to my childhood, visiting my grandparents and eating figs with my grandma. The longer I ate that small fig, the clearer the memory came to my mind. What a trip! I knew that foods and smells can do this to a person but I didn’t realize how fresh the memory can become or how deep the emotions can run from something so simple as eating a piece of fruit.
I bought those dried figs on a whim after giving up my search for fresh ones and boy am I glad I bought them. I would have missed a big part of my life that was stored deep in my brain. It’s like I made a new connection to my grandma and my childhood all over again.
What food or smell does that for you? Or maybe it’s a sound? I would love to hear your stories. Leave them in the comments.