Meet Bob….our organic Fig producer. He’s on the phone with his fig broker. The majority of his crop heads to Whole Foods….but we are lucky enough to get a stash so we can create our organic fig balsamic.
The first time we went to Bob’s farm, I had no idea what to expect. We drove through acres of olive trees that had been mechanically harvested for table olive production. The trees looked sad….worn out….the barks on the trunks were peeling off. The energy was low as we drove down the last row of trees to cross the bridge that marked the beginning of Bob’s property. As soon as we drove over the bridge, I believe I heard the angels sing…..I looked up and saw rows and rows of fig trees….lush, green, happy and LOVED organic fig trees.
Have you ever seen so many fig trees? Over 100 acres…..
And every one looks like it is in the Garden of Eden……
You’ve never tasted a fig until you’ve tasted one of Bob’s figs….
Now this scene took me back to the farmhouse in Italy where I tasted the dried fig off the drying rack in the attic. I couldn’t believe my eyes…not a simple drying rack but hundreds…thousands of organic figs….drying in the sun….naturally. With Bob’s permission, I strolled over and picked a fig from the rack….so curious if it compared to the one in Italy…so sure it wouldn’t….how could it? It did…..
We spent a few hours with Bob….walking the farm…..listening to his story and the story of his figs. There was no doubt that we had chosen the right farmer for our organic fig balsamic….his love and passion were part of his figs and therefore I knew would be part of our product. We loaded up our truck with the figs that were picked that morning and headed back to Rutherford. We unloaded and within 24 hours, the figs were washed, cut and loaded into our tanks with Organic Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. After a few weeks, I added some split Madagascar Vanilla Bean. Two more weeks passed and we began our taste tests. We were three days in when I could no longer hold back. It hit the production schedule the following week and was immediately released. Total production – 40 cases.