An embarrassment of Riches
I may complain sometimes about the lack of great Mexican food here in Italy, no good mangoes, no tomatillos or poblano peppers to speak of, but all in all, Southern Europe kicks ass in terms of fresh produce. One of the most shocking examples of this are the fig trees you see growing everywhere like weeds. They spring out of cracks in walls and sidewalks, they grow by the side of the highway like so much poison sumac. In Chicago, figs when they are available, are revered. They appear at Caputo's Italian market for at least 2 bucks per pint and you don't even want to know what they charge for Whole Foods' fig preserves. In Italy, you reach up and grab them for free sometimes. In the open-air markets, they almost give them away yet no-one but me seems shocked at this. So lo and behold, at my friend, Amalia's house today what did I spy growing out of the window-box among the snap-dragons? This sneaky weed!