Although considered a fruit, the fig is actually an inverted
flower. The seeds, known as "drupes" are in fact the real fruit.
Figs are the only fruit to fully ripen and semi-dry on the tree.
They are a good source of dietary fiber, potassium and manganese.
They are free of fat, sodium and cholesterol.
Buying and Storing
Fresh figs are perishable fruits and should be purchased a day
or two before consumption. Depending upon the variety, they range
dramatically in colour and subtly in texture. Look for figs that
have a rich colour and are plump and tender, but not mushy. They
should have firm stems and be free of bruises. Smelling figs can
also give you clues into their freshness and taste. They should
have a mildly sweet fragrance and should not smell sour. A sour
smell is an indication that they may be spoiled.
Ripe figs should be kept in the refrigerator where they will
stay fresh for about two days. Store them carefully on a paper
towel-lined plate or in a shallow container. If the figs are still
under-ripe, keep them at room temperature away from direct
Dried figs will stay fresh for several months and can either be
kept in a cool, dark place or stored in the refrigerator. Wrap them
well so that they are not overexposed to air that can cause them to
become hard and dry.
Fresh figs from California are available from June through
September. European varieties are typically available throughout
the autumn. Dried figs are available year-round.
Before eating or cooking figs, wash them under cool water and
carefully remove the stem. Gently wipe dry.
Simmer figs for several minutes in water or fruit juice to plump
them up and then add to recipes
Add dried or fresh figs to hot cereal
Poach figs in juice or red wine and serve with yoghurt or ice
Add quartered figs to a salad of fennel, arugula and shaved
Fresh figs stuffed with cream cheese and chopped nuts make easy
Try it today:
Glazed Figs with Mascarpone
Chicken Braised with Dried Figs, Sage and