the fig, the cumin and the stropshire blue

Years ago I planted our fig tree and it's taken three summers to get that first luscious fig. With all the food I grow I like to celebrate the first of the season. The first fruit of any variety deserves special care. This time it was all about the fig. So I asked for advice from my favourite deli in town Campana's on Mair, a family run business with Italian heritage. Campana's doubles as a deli and a wine cellar. Hello...did someone say serendipity?

I tell Tony behind the counter that I have some fresh figs and I'm looking for a recommendation in the realm of blue, strong and stinky. From behind me sitting in the casual cafe where the family serves coffee and light meals, Meg (Tony's daughter) overhearing the conversation suggests for me to try the Stropshire Blue. An English Blue cheese that looks more orange than blue. Taking the advice from Meg, I purchased a little portion of the cheese and served it with the cool refrigerated fig topped with a sprinkle of cumin seeds. Special treatment indeed.

To look at the food one might think it's just a fig on some cheese. But look closer and you can see the effort gone into growing and nurturing the tree and the uniqueness of the cheese selected and sold by one of the last family owned delis in town not franchised by a major national brand.

This food represents the old ways. It represents what we should hold onto so tightly. Tradition and a determination to provide for oneself. These are things we should treasure.