Seasonal and local is everything for Portuguese gastronomy. Getting the best possible produce, from its terroir at the right time makes all the difference. Portugal is a relatively small country with its 900km from North to South but you only have to drive a few kilometres to encounter disputes about different varieties of apples, grapes or cabbage! Recognising the excellence of local produce is an important mechanism for sustaining a healthy community of food producers who make available an outstanding variety of food goods across the country. This post introduces the Figo Preto (black fig) from Torres Novas. Torres Novas is about an hour north of Lisbon in the Oeste region, known for its excellent fruit production. The abundance of fresh fruit in spring and summer has, as its natural counterpoint, the dried and preserved fruits of winter. Dried figs are delicious and the figo preto is an absolute treat. Torres Novas is blessed with a microclimate which is ideal for fig trees. This particular fig however has had a difficult time as it has been considered small and 'ugly' fruit in a comercial landscape of large, lush, equally sized, perfect looking fruit. Now, taste is what maters and ugly is the new beautiful! Who wants all their figs to look the same anyway? Torres Novas is trying to establish the black fig as a recognised regional product and research is going on to determine its unique characteristics. You only have to bite into one to appreciate its rich taste and you will immediately feel like joining the good people of Torres Novas in their quest for celebrating the Figo Preto!