Sunday, November 09, 2008

Salami di fichi

My tiny niece amuses me once more. Sat at her breakfast table she suddenly announced:

"Oh I am fed up of this. I need something delicious."

Bearing this in mind, and with an eye on Chrimbo, I have been making some salami di fichi. Now's the time to do it if you want them for the forthcoming hostilities. You'll need:
  • Some dried figs
  • Some rice paper
  • A mixer or mincer
  • Soap, water and a towel
  • An air-tight container
  • An absence of small children, unless they are going to be active particpants
  • A complete absence of small, furry animals

You might also want to either leave the front door open or resolve that you're closed to all men until the job's done and dusted. There is a point in the proceedings when you'll be like the tar baby.

  • Chuck the dried figs into the mixer. Chop them to bits until it becomes a fine paste. You might need to stop it every so often to persuade the paste not to hide under the blades.
  • Wash your hands again. You've picked your nose since the last time.
  • Take the figgy past and roll it out into a sausage, same as you did with Plasticene at school. You want it to be about a couple of inches in diameter. If there's lots of figgy paste you may want to make two or more sausages.
  • Wrap each sausage in rice paper.
  • Wash your hands again. You know why.
  • Place them all in the container. Put it somewhere safe for a month or two.

When you retrieve your salami and unwrap each you'll find that you've got a rich, brown, sticky mess that makes you giggle childishly. Don't serve it like this! Cut the sausage into coin-thick slices (you chose which coin). Now eat one. You'll find it tastes rather good: sweet, rich and quite a bit decadent, with the seeds popping in your mouth as you chew.

This is the absolute simplest version of the recipe. If you've got some other dried fruit - apricots, raisins, or whatever - chuck them in. Generally speaking, I'd make sure that at least 60% of the fruit is fig because it makes such a good binding agent. Don't use dried pineapple: that does funny things to the binding. Dried cranberries work surprisingly well and are suitably festive.

You can also add chopped nuts (fresh walnuts are good, toasted hazelnuts are splendid) and orange or lemon peel. Be sure to put them in right at the beginning to make sure they get blended in properly.

I know from experience that these will keep for months. But your tooth might be sweeter than mine!


Ellis Nadler said...

i'll be round at xmas

willow said...


scarlet-blue said...

"Oh I am fed up of this. I need something delicious."

Is your niece related to Mrs P?

Gadjo Dilo said...

Good heavens, another unexpected talent that you have - entertaining small children with home-made figgy sweetmeats. You could also coat the "coins" in a bit of icing sugar, I'm guessing, so they're like travel sweets. Would that work?

Kevin Musgrove said...

Ellis: I'll put the sprouts on

Willow: definitely!

Scarlet: now you mention it, the likeness is uncanny! How frightening. And the mite has theatricality in her make-up. And make-up, too, come to that...

gd: entertaining small children be damned: they're for entertaining me after the rigours of saying hello to my family. Be warned: there is so much natural sugar already in a slice of this stuff that the World Health Organisation would be onto you like a pack of hounds if you even showed it the bag of icing sugar.