The Fig & the Knife

Marilyn HawkesNovember 2018
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Chef Janette Gomez’s sauce company is an ode to the underrated fig.

Chef Janette Gomez grew up equating figs with Fig Newtons. “Then I came to realize that figs don’t just come in a little brown cookie shell, they actually have a beautiful shape and grow on trees.” Now she sees the fig as a metaphor for foods that people don’t understand. To that end, she named her artisanal spice and sauce company after the mysterious purple fruit and is devoted to helping her customers discover new flavors and foods.

Self-taught chef Gomez makes a captivating Fig & Apricot Spread ($7, 4 oz.; $10, 8 oz.), using a blend of dense fig and apricot paste sweetened with local farmers’ market honey and highlighted with “secret spices.” The crunchy fig seeds enhance the texture of the paste, similar in consistency to the gritty filling of the aforementioned cookie.

Fig season is short (about six weeks in June and July), so Gomez processes her organic, locally sourced figs immediately and dries extras for later use. Her other fig-based products include a smoky barbecue sauce, a balsamic vinaigrette and Fairy Fig Dust & Friends Premium Blend, a dry spice mix of thyme, date powder and “other curious flavors.” She’s also developing a fig chutney and has a few other ideas in the works.

The Fig & the Knife products are available at Phoenix Public Market. For the holidays, Gomez sells customized spice gift boxes.

The Fig & the Knife

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