November 04 2011
There are good ideas, and there are strokes of genius, and these chocolate-coated figs from Spain fall firmly into the second category. The brainwave came 20 years ago to Felipa and Senador, a couple of residents in the off-the-beaten-track village of Almoharín (province of Cáceres) as they wondered what creative use could be made of their region’s enormous production of figs. With a bit of help from a Barcelona chocolatier, they eventually hit on the magic formula: a dried fig of the small, thin-skinned local variety (known as calabacita, “little pumpkin”, for its perky shape), injected with chocolate truffle and dipped in chocolate couverture.
The resulting brand, christened Bombón de Higo, is now available in 22 countries worldwide including Japan, the USA and Brazil. The Chinese, I am informed, go wild for them. As well as the whole dried figs in chocolate, which are named Rabitos Royale, the brand also makes Chocohigos, a blend of dried fig, chocolate and brandy truffle; but it’s the Rabitos Royale that get my vote. For years I have made a habit of snapping them up in the delicatessen section at El Corte Inglés, the department store with branches in all major Spanish cities. But now, I discover to my joy, Bombón de Higo is to be sold in the UK in the London outlets of Brindisa Ltd, forward-looking importer of fine Spanish edibles (£6.50 for a pack of six individually-wrapped Rabitos Royale; £9.95 for nine).
If you thought you’d seen it all in the world of fine chocolate confections, wait till you try this luscious combo. The marriage of the fig’s honeyed sweetness and the rich truffle filling is sensational. In my experience, the Bombón de Higo is so good that, having tried one, you’ll inevitably want to snaffle another. Though (also in my experience) you might be wise to draw the line at two.