Last summer, our friend + James Beard award-winning journalist Paul Greenberg spent some weeks in Cilento. Amex’s Departures Mag just published his epic tale of the visit with Antonio Longo, creator of cult-favorite Santomiele White Fig Fagottino.
Paul’s words will have you booking a flight to the Amalfi Coast before you can say fagottino di fichi. No one could describe better these fabled dried fig packets.
“Unwrapping the coarse, earthy paper, I saw that its reverse side bore a facsimile of an 18th century sketch of the Bay of Naples, suggesting a kind of treasure map. The waft of cinnamon, wildflowers, and tobacco emanating from a folded fig leaf within the map only added to that impression.
Finally, I opened the leaf to reveal the buried treasure itself: day-long roasted almonds, candied orange peel, and a delicately marinated white dottato fig that had been cured for over a year. […] Longo cautioned, “you eat it very slowly.” I did as instructed and felt the subtle flavors and textures in the little packet elaborate on one other. It tasted like dappled sunshine on the palate.
It takes a long time to make a fagottino. You should take a little while to eat one as well.”
If you are looking for a stocking stuffer, look no further. If you’d like to see Cilento through Paul’s eyes and be enchanted by the elegant beauty of Santomiele’s operation, read more on the Gusti blog.
MORE FIGS, PLEASE!
After a long wait, farmer Franco Vastola’s lush white fig jam is back in stock. It’s made on his Maida farm, just a few miles from Santomiele, with the same, extra unique variety of figs from Cilento: the floral and syrupy Dottato white figs. Just in time for holiday baking season!