Sweet Summer Treat

Fig jam/spread

I love grocery shopping at ethnic stores. One of my local favorites is the Baiz Market. They have some of the best Middle Eastern food in town and aisles full of the most exotic ingredients you could imagine. The first time I visited, there were families preparing for a religious feast and very happy at the gaggle of skinned goats hanging in the deli. I was a little startled. I’ve seen a wide variety of butchered animals in African and South American travel, but goats with their little eyes watching passersby was a new one. I don’t know that I’ve ever eaten goat. Llama, yes. Guinea pig? I’m afraid to say, yes.* Rabbit, etc? Of course. But there is something about the garbage disposal nature of goats that makes me wonder how good the meat could be?

philo dough

The spice aisle, however, was nothing short of delightful. Racks of cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne and even those that don’t start with C were screaming for my basket. I ended up coming home from my latest trip with two large jars of fava beans, similar to those I enjoyed in Bolivia, and a giant jar of fig jam. I love figs. The trees are beautiful, the fruit is succulent warm off the tree and the flavor tastes like honey bees made out with flowers. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with those preserves.

Melted butter

A little melted butter, some phyllo dough and a generous portion of fig jam =

Easy fig tart

A wonderful summer tart. We had this for dinner last night with friends and it was excellent! Three cheers for shopping outside of the conventional lines and for trying new spur of the moment creations in the kitchen.


* Llama and guinea pig are delicacies in South America. When I was working there, I often didn’t have the choice to ask what was on my plate. Instead, I got to enjoy a beautiful meal prepared with great sacrifice (which the children hiding under the table enjoyed by the sneaky handful).

12 Replies to “Sweet Summer Treat”

  1. I’ve had goat before, at a Filipino birthday party. It was really quite good. Goats will eat pretty much anything, but more than likely those being raised for consumption aren’t actually eating everything, you know? 🙂

  2. I love our international market,called Oasis, here in Blacksburg. It’s nice to have one that’s only about 3 minutes from my house. I love it. I go there to get my tofu puffs and alternative flours.

    I can offically say our International market here has fresh crabs. I know this from experience as I was chased down the isle by one. lol. Feisty little thing. I had jumped out of its box and was challenging anyone that walked by. I wish I had my camera with me that day to have taken a video. The clerk put it back up in its box, but again…it jumped back out just as quickly as it was put back in. We had a good laugh that day at the “fresh” crab.

    1. ack…spelled that wrong..meant to say IT had jumped out of its box.

      Our market here has foods from all over the world. I live in a college town where there are people from all around, India, China, japan, France, you name it…

  3. I just tried goat for the first time. It wasn’t that bad. It was in an Indian dish (not sure which region). Go for it! But maybe have someone else prepare it, for the first time at least. Just to make sure you do it right. It makes me nervous.

    Do you like coconut?

  4. Looks delish! Loved that last little added paragraph. I can just picture it!

    “Instead, I got to enjoy a beautiful meal prepared with great sacrifice (which the children hiding under the table enjoyed by the sneaky handful).”

  5. Sometimes I feel like we really do know one another. So many things you talk about are things I have experienced, albeit through travels of my daughter’s. South America, Africa, Asia. Have you heard of Wholesome Choices in California? Just went there a couple weeks ago and the food was fantastic. Sure wish there was one in Phoenix. I know there will never be anything like it in my lifetime here in Tucson. Though, I am sure we have oodles of those little ethnic markets like you tucked into the corners.

    Here is the website. http://www.wholesomechoice.com/index.php

  6. Oh, you must try goat! I grew up in Kenya and there was nothing better than a goat rib. It’s not fatty like the ribs we eat here.

    Now, guinea pig…I have a story about that too. I must have been 4 or 5 when an entire (cooked) guinea pig was set on my plate and I screamed, ET! That was when I was living in Ecuador and since I was there for 7 years, it is likely that I did eat it at some point, but I still choose to think I didn’t.

    Thanks for bringing back these memories. I will be trying that fig tart, looks delicious.

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