Grown in the Mediterranean basin, the fig is a symbol of Provence, and is served as one of the 13 desserts at Christmas. It thrives in the Var region, which is also the home of the delicious and highly sought-after Violette de Solliès.
Violette de Sollies appellation
In the south-west of the region, Gapeau Valley alone produces 75% of France’s figs – 2500 tons per year! In this valley, the figs grow in a mineral-rich and well-drained soil in a unique micro-climate.
The fig trees have been here for so long that they are now a key part of the landscape.
Solliès-Pont, the fig capital, is proud to have its own appellation – the delicious ‘violette de Solliès’.
Shaped like a flattened droplet of water, the fig is purple with black ridges, both dense, firm and supple, and its fleshy, juicy pulp is the colour of strawberry jam. The nose is elegant, and mild in flavour with vegetables and fruit notes, including watermelon, white melon, strawberry and other red fruits.
The taste is balanced, characteristically acid and sugary, crunchy then fondant, with strong vegetable, fruity and floral notes.
All in all, it is a divine and lively fig!
The traditional Fig Festival
Every year during the last weekend in August, Solliès-Pont celebrates its divine ‘violette’. An unmissable event!
On the programme:
- On Friday evening in the village square is a large, fig-based meal
- Throughout the weekend, a big market bringing together producers and artisans will be taking place in the village streets
- Guided tours of the fig fields
- Famous chefs will be offering tastings of fig-based meals
- Mass with blessing the brotherhood and ‘dubbing’ of the new fig knights
The fig tree
Above all, the fig tree is a tree native to the Mediterranean area. Although it needs a lot of sunshine to produce fruit, it is a hardy tree that can survive in tough environmental conditions.
However, it produces high-quality fruit when there is water and abundant sunshine. Its generous foliage can therefore grow in the best conditions and ensure maximum photosynthesis. After all, the fig likes to have ‘its feet in the water and its head in the sunshine!’
The fig tree also has an extensive network of roots in order to absorb every drop of water in the soil. In the Solliès basin, the fig tree enjoys a favourable climate and sufficient water.
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