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Thursday, August 30, 2012

You Just Might Be an Italian/American if..... you have a Fig Tree in your back yard : )

My Fig Tree : )

There is a curious connection between Italians immigrants and fig trees, did you know for instance that NY and NJ have some of the largest fig tree populations in the US? Italian immigrants who had grown up with a fig tree in their own backyards brought the seedlings over and planted a tree as soon as they moved in to their homes to remind them of Bella Italia, sometimes even before hanging the curtains. I believe it may have also been a way of identifying them as Italian American, sort of like flying a flag of your birth country along side the beloved American flag. My Mom's grandmother, Nonna Cornaccio, grew fig trees in her backyard and my Mother has very fond memories of eating plump juicy figs straight from the tree, a great source of replenishment, as she ran around out back, it was like having a little piece of Italy in the middle of Bayonne, NJ! We were blessed to have in inherited a fig tree in our own SC back yard when we bought our currant home in 2000 and if we ever have to move we will also plant a fig tree in our new backyard.

Figs are great in salads, spread on bread with butter, wrapped with some prosciutto, or eaten alone!
~Figs in my summer salad~

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