In Season: Figuring On Figs

It took centuries for Americans to appreciate what Greeks and Romans knew long ago: fresh figs are a treasured delicacy. The Black Mission variety from California, known for its pink flesh and intensely sweet flavor, is available until November ($5 per pint, plus shipping, at Dean & DeLuca; 800-999-0306). Choose ones with smooth, firm skin, hold by the stem and take a bite. Eat them with prosciutto or pick up Marie Simmons's "Fig Heaven" (Morrow Cookbooks. $19.95) for 70 luscious recipes.

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