If history tells us anything it tells us that anyone owning a fig tree is mighty lucky. Who else but an owner can know the incomparable, rich and delicate flavor of a perfectly ripe fig? Surely it isn't those without a fig tree in their yard. They must buy figs that are green, firm and well before their time. Sad.
But how does a fig owner know when a fig is at its perfect moment? There are many stories and tips but the best is from Italy. The saying goes that a fig is ripe when "it has the wrinkles of a farmer's face; when its color turns to straw; when it has the softness of a women's breast; when its stem droops like an old man; and when a widow's tear forms at its base."
These are Genoa figs grown organically in my garden in the Valley of the Moon.