Figs in Dalmatia

End of summer…

It has a very special scent of dried fields, moist clouds and figs rotting on the ground. I would have to say that this particular scent was one of the reasons why I returned home after 5 years in US. Nothing could replace it…

The fruit connected to the hard life of Dalmatia in the past is fig. Fresh in the summer months and used dried in all other months. It was quite common to have only a fist full of dried figs and a shot of grapa brandy (lozovača) to get you through the morning even when working really hard. Storing sugars and “Sun”, dried figs were perfect snack.

Wild fig...small and dark. Ripe only in late September...
Wild fig...small and dark. Ripe only in late September...

Today, fig trees are rarely grown for mass production like in the rest of the world. Dalmatia is full of fig trees on islands and on the mainland but growing mostly wild or in the olive groves, outside the fields… Just now some plantations are getting planted due to success of Dalmatian Fig spread
There was a tale that the first figs were planted in California by the emigrants form Korcula… The truth is that figs were brought to US by the Spaniards and the Spanish missionaries planted them in Southern California but I am sure Dalmatian folks carried a plant or two to remind them of the old country…

Ripe and juicy...
Ripe and juicy...

There are numerous fig species (cc 800) and they are ripe from late May to late September.
This particular is a wild, black fig. Rare but very sweet. I cannot eat figs if someone picks them for me so I am “stuck” with picking my own figs :))) Pure pleasure!

Food travel in Croatia
Travel in Croatia

This is how it’s done!:http://dalmacija.kovacevic.nl/plugin/tag/smokva

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