Greetings dear readers and friends. Well, things are slowly cooling down here in the South of France after a very hot summer. The summer attitude is still here, ie. folks still feel like they’re on vacation, but the temperatures have dropped considerably – which indeed makes going to the beach and enjoying these last few weeks of summer all the more enjoyable. (This year France had several weeks of heatwaves (canicule) which touched practically every area of the country – the 2nd highest recorded temperatures in history, after 2003.)
One event which really “closes” the summer season in our area, is the Solliés-Pont Fig Festival. Written-up in the local paper, Var Matin, as the absolute “must-do” for the region, the festival is also quite famous beyond the Var region. The figs from Solliés, which hold the AOC appellation, are known all around France.
The well-known calisson (Provençal cookie) maker in Aix-en-Provence, Roy René, even created a fig-flavored calisson in order to commerate this year’s festival.
More than being a highlight for the end of summer, it’s a festival that we look forward to all year long. And of course this year did not disappoint. Besides the usual suspects – fig trees, fig jams, fig cookies, pastries, and even fig kir royals – the festival organizers added more musical acts and more artistic creations were on display (fig cushions anyone?).
I was also thrilled because I finally got a festival bag. If you’ve seen a few of the past posts, you’ll know how important good, solid bags can be in France. At only €5 each, these festival bags have been a hot commodity and I’ve missed out on them every year. So if you see a lady at the Toulon / Sanary / Bandol market sporting her two Fête de la Figue bags, you’ll know it’s me.
Bon week-end from Provence!