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The first time I was faced with a mound of black figs, I have to admit I felt a bit half-hearted, and even a little anxious : a well-meaning friend had brought me a whole basket of the fruit from her parents’ house in the Parisian suburbs. Sure, I’d seen figs a few times at the local market, and I thought they looked good, but I’d felt too intimidated to buy any. Now that they were in my hands, what in the world was I going to do with all these figs ?