They were a tradition of sorts, those golden brown dehydrated sack shaped figs that magically appeared during the holiday season. “Are these exotic looking items actual fruit or mainly purchased for looks?” I often wondered. Nobody really ever ate them, not family nor visitors and the few that I did try I would cautiously pierce into with the tips of my front teeth. I questioned the inhuman feeling of the leathery texture and the seemingly thousands of tiny seeds that find their way into the deepest caverns between teeth and gums and scrape the roof of my mouth like sandpaper. I would always manage to chew down a few before Christmas but after Thanksgiving, yet the taste of pasty blood and brown sugar was never truly palatable, cloyingly sweet.
Come January when all the desirable treats had vanished I would revisit the figs again that now had a light coat of dust upon their cheap, cracking cellophane packaging. I liked the packaging, perhaps more than the figs. The Made in Greece label kept me coming back as I conjured up views of goats with bells around their necks, just walking the mountains in this distant land, which is why I suppose I still do purchase them, but its more than that.
Now I am the faithful holiday purchaser though nobody will ever eat them but me, I have a full year to do so. Yet year after year, they endure this same debate and remain with me. I guess they remind me of being home during the holidays which had all the joys of eating figs.