I Will Pass on the Figs

Is it just our local stores, or is food sampling a phenomenon common in all supermarkets? On some days, if you time it properly, you can skip lunch altogether. Saturday afternoon at Sam’s Club is the bestftime for feeding its customers, but even our local Publix and Kroger have jumped on the food-tasting bandwagon.

We have enjoyed sushi and yogurt at Publix, and if you arrive when the Apron meal-of-the day is being cooked, you will leave with a sampling and a recipe as well.

Trader Joe’s has a corner that is set up for a tasting and a cup of coffee, which is where we first learned about our favorite pizza—butternut squash and kale pizza. While it sounds strange and maybe even awful to a connoisseur of the more traditional pepperoni or sausage pies, trust me, it was great. Note the word “was.” Apparently, this particular pie was not a hit, because after a year or so, it was discontinued!

A recent trip to Kroger had us sampling two different cheeses topped by “stuff.” Dad dove right in, but I hesitated because I wanted to first know the ingredients of the “stuff.”

“Figs,” he told me.

“I have never eaten a fig,” was my quick reply, so Dad insisted I give it a try.

Remembering that I have a recipe for “Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Fig Skewers,” I popped the cheese-topped cracker into my mouth, while at the same time Dad said, “It tastes just like a Fig Newton.”

Uh oh. It was too late. As soon as he said that, the fig-topped cheese had already hit my taste buds, and I remembered that I hated Fig Newtons.

When I was in second grade, someone sent them in for a snack, and our teacher, Miss Morrissey, insisted that we must eat the entire cookie. I distinctly recalled the sensation of gagging, but no one ever disobeyed Miss Morrissey, so I was forced to eat that yucky cookie.

Thank goodness for the Tic Tacs in my purse, which helped mask the taste in my mouth. I don’t think I will include the pork with fresh figs in our family cookbook!

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