But we just like the taste. Back in August, only a few farmer's market stalls had them, but now it seems like everyone's got some on display. Figs flourish in this state, which the Spaniards discovered as they traveled through their New World territory, spreading enforced Catholicism and smallpox. The Mission figs they left us were the only game in town until immigrants from Eastern Europe brought Calimyrnas and Brown Turkeys and Adriatics in the mid-nineteenth century. The green-skinned Calimyrna is now the most common fig in the US, even if the Mission's dark skin is more iconic. We've spotted the milder Brown Turkeys at Tairwa Knoll's stand, along with fig leaves that add a delicate flavor when wrapped around fish before being tossed onto the grill.

Photos by Melissa Schneider and Colin Burke McClure.