FICO – Word of the Week. September is a month of transition: temperatures are dropping and summer is winding down into fall. Now the Tuscan countryside is at its best and, in the world of fruit, September is the month for figs to hit markets and restaurants. The choice for our Word of the Week for this beginning of September was therefore easy: IL FICO ( m, sing)- I FICHI (m. pl)
Technically speaking, figs are not fruit and there are about 850 varieties around the world. In Tuscany fresh figs can be found from May through October: in Spring there is the variety called “Fioroni”( from gems of the previous season), later on, with their peak season in September, it’s the time for the real FICHI, the best variety. In Southern Italy every where one can find FICHI d’India, which are totally different.
I Fichi in cucina
They are rich in Calcium and Anti-oxidants and it appears that the idea that they are rich in calories is false. In fact, fresh figs only have 50 Kcal /100 gr , less than grapes and mandarin, that, for example contain 70 Kcal / 100 gr.
In Tuscany we love eating FICHI con PROSCIUTTO crudo: a very interesting DOLCE-SALATO combination as well as LA MARMELLATA di FICHI that can be best appreciated in combination with Pecorino cheese , again an unusual mix typical of Cucina Toscana
Modi di dire con Fico
The Italian language has many figures of speech with the word FICO in it, let me show you a few I have collected and if you have more that I left out do let me know. Ready with your dictionary?
· Che figata! – So cool!
· Essere figo – Essere alla moda o anche molto sicuro di se – Be fashionable or even very sure of your self
· Fare i fichi – Essere molto cerimoniosi, svenevoli, tutti moine e complimenti. Si riferisce alla dolcezza di questo frutto. Referring to fig sweetness , be very sweet with someone
· Essere il più bel fico del paniere – Il pezzo migliore di una collezione o simili. Si usa anche per le persone in senso ironico o scherzoso. The best piece of a collection or similar. It is also used for people in an ironic or playful sense.
· Non importare un fico secco. – Non importare nulla; considerare irrilevante, non attribuire a qualcosa nemmeno lo scarso valore di un fico secco – Not to care about something
· Non valere un fico secco – Valere pochissimo, meno di quanto può valere un fico essiccato. To not be worthy
Remember not to use FICO as feminine word, as it is a very rude way to talk about a woman. To be on the safe side…don’t try it