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‘Zaftig Figs’

It’s poor form to quote oneself, but a ‘zaftig fig’ is a line out of a poem I wrote that still needs a bit more work.

I am sharing it anyway because I liked the way you could roll it around your mouth. Zaftig is a Yiddish word from the Old German, saft meaning juicy. To describe something as zaftig is to call it round, full; voluptuous in the case of a woman. I used to work for a Jewish family and Yiddish has some words that have a rich resonance. One of my favourites is meshugganah: it means crazy. And then there are the shleps, the schlocks, the schlemiels with the schmooze and the schmaltz and the schmucks with their spiel; not forgetting the chutzpah (which is not a compliment). All gorgeous on the tongue, like these figs.

I was given a bag of purple ones this week and had them last night, seared on a rocket and mozzarella salad with prosciutto, but before all that, I couldn’t resist taking a photograph of them. Words sometimes constrain, an image frees the mind more, I think.

This morning, after the nosh the night before, I only wish I had been given two bags of figs…

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