Information taken from the meeting with our producer Francis Honoré
The varieties of figs
There are 700 varieties of figs around the world. Fleshy with a large caliber, small or long, they have a more or less sweet taste, sometimes even almost a flavor of candied fruit.
Francis Honoré has made “fig hunting” a lifelong ambition. Traveling around the world, he brought back many fig trees that he grows in Graveson in Provence, in the 12ha orchard surrounding his house. At 72 years old – and 50 years after starting his business – 4,000 trees and 150 varieties of figs are growing in his production.
The competitive fig market
With competition from Turkish figs on the fresh fig market in the 1990s, Francis and his wife Jacqueline saw the need to redirect their know-how. A few years ago, Francis and his wife traveled throughout France, 120 days a year, to participate in gastronomic fairs, present and sell their small collection of fig-based products (jams, chutneys, condiments) at the General public.
Fruit ripened to perfection, without any treatment
Francis is a real fig enthusiast. Talking to trees, touching them, is his way of cultivating them. In order to facilitate the harvest, he prunes them so that the man can pick them by hand. Thus, a small specialized harvesting team goes through the trees for 4 months, from June to September, to collect only the ripe figs. Thus, the pickers pass 40 to 45 times in each tree, that is to say approximately every 1 day and a half. Some fig trees give one harvest per year (uniferous, the Bourjassotte Noire variety for example), others two (biferous, like the Noire de Caromb and Dauphine blanche varieties).
The exploitation of a mono-production is a great risk for a farmer. And yet, this does not prevent Francis from trusting nature by not treating his trees under any circumstances. Thus, we can eat them with the skin as soon as they are picked, cook them whole in jams… This is important since it is the skin that contains the most fibre, vitamins and other health benefits.
An unusual and peaceful place
A sense of hospitality is part of Francis' DNA. Sparse of explanations, he is by no means so, quite the contrary, and it is with great generosity that this lover of figs offers to taste his freshly picked fruit, his jams and other savory products. Mass has been said. The charm operates... And if by chance he took the desire for visitors to spend more time in these peaceful places, Francis planted a fig tree 20 years ago which, having grown according to the structure of an arbor, shades to those who linger below for a picnic. After a moment of rest, browsing through the varieties of unknown trees brought back from the end of the world by Francis is a pleasant moment of discovery. Touch the "Fejoia" to capture its positive energy and leave the eyes, the taste buds and the heart in awe, without forgetting to go through the wooden chalet which serves as an unusual shop.
The fig, THE flagship product of L'Epicurien
There are many different products at L'Épicurien to enhance this tasty fruit. Five in number among the sweet products: Black Fig (Bourjassotte), White Fig, Half-Figue , Half-Raisin jams , Raisiné de Montpellier as well as Whole Black Fig from Caromb (candied by hand by us each day for a whole week). There are two savory products: the Fig with Balsamic Vinegar condimentand the Fig Chutney with Spices . Finally, a cheese also contains figs: Confit de Figues aux Noix .
IDENTITY CARD / Les Figuières
for 50 years
4000 trees grown for their fruit
150 varieties of figs
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