22 August 2008

Figs...Oh Bring Me a Figgy......

The other day I finally tried fresh figs.Yes I have never had the pleasure of having a fresh fig before. So.... I was the new food trier of the condo complex. I have been privy to the Fig Newton and the dried kind of fig for years but have never had the opportunity to have a fresh fig. I have had them roasted, and barbecued and on a pizza but never fresh.

When I was in Greece a few years ago I saw many fig trees in peoples yards and in the wild from island to island and on the mainland...but it was May/June and they were not in season. So yet again I did not get the opportunity to try them. You might say it has taken me a while to jump on the bandwagon!!!!!

It may be hard to tell from the photo but there are 3 different types of figs available at the Italian market at the moment. Not knowing much about figs myself, and not having any experts around on the subject, I had to Google them to find out the types. Three types of figs offered the perfect opportunity to have an impromptu taste testing. I wasn't terribly successful on finding out the names of these figs except the middle one with the pale yellow skin.

Do you know the name of these figs?

1) The first in the background with the deep eggplant coloured skin they simply called a Greek Fig in the store. It was 3 times the price of the others having travelled the furthest. I wonder what it's actual name is?

2) Calimyrna figs grow in California. Apparently minute pollinator wasps are responsible for fruit set. The crunchy seeds impart a superior nutty flavor to these delicious figs. These were my favourite - so sweet and juicy. It is in the foreground.

3) Don't have a name for the whole globular shaped fig on the left. It was rather bland and spongy in texture. Perhaps it was an unripe Mission Fig which has the same shape but according to every description it oozes juice and this fig did not.

What is your favourite way to prepare them?

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  1. I'm so glad you tried them! Fresh figs are one of the sexier food pleasures in life, for sure!

  2. Thanks for the info! I only like fresh figs... Those look delicious!



  3. I've never eaten a fresh fig. I happen to love fig newtons. Given my track record and how I feel about most fruit I'm afraid. Well, and I haven't seen any here in the middle of nowhere.

  4. I have to admit I have never had a fresh fig. All I can ever find around here are the dried or Fig Newtons (which I still am obsessed with).

  5. I think figs are coming back into popularity and I just love them. I hope your post brings them to the front for your fans. Maybe I'll get brave and try to make fig preserves.

  6. They are nice in a salad with feta cheese, salad leaves and a bit of dressing, but I suppose that isn't very exciting.

  7. I didn't know you could get difference types! I've never tried fresh figs either...

  8. Its ok, I have not tried them yet either. I also have not cooked them yet. I am so ashamed.

  9. I have a cookbook floating around here that includes gorgeous photos of figs, plus their variety names and recipes/serving ideas.

    While I just glanced through it the other day, wouldn't you know I can't find or remember which cookbook held this info now.

    If I run across it, and it gives a name to these other 2 figs, I'll let you know! (P.S. I love figs, but have yet to prepare them or use them in a recipe myself!)

  10. I love love love figs. I only discovered them when I moved down to FL and I started by having some not so ripe figs (and a warning: don't do that. lol, they are very not good then). Having a perfectly ripe fig just oozing that little dab of honey out of the bottom is heavenly. I have a tough time cooking with them because I usually eat them all before I can do anything...I'm going to try to be better this season. ;-)

    Some of the more popular varieties (which maybe are in your photo, in case it helps): (darker figs) black mission, brown turkey, (green figs) calimyrna, and kadota

  11. I love fresh figs - they are my all-time favorite!

    Here's a fave recipe:

    Split them lengthwise part way down (make an X through the top).

    Stuff with a little mascarpone or yogurt.

    Toast some walnut pieces

    drizzle stuffed figs with the toasted walnuts and some good honey.

  12. Figs are awesome! I am so glad you were finally able to try them! I think the other 2 are mission figs...but I am not sure.

    I like them in salad, or stuffed with parmesan cheese and broiled in the oven, or on pizza with blue cheese. I have several recipes on my blog for them!

    Recently we made an ice cream with ricotta and lemon that goes GREAT with figs (and blueberries!)

  13. Yum, fresh figs are absolutely delicious. I like eating them with good quality feta cheese - the combination is delicious. You can also combine them with prosciutto for an easy appetizer. I recently made a sausage and lentils recipe with spiced figs that was awesome (the recipe's on my blog). Then I used the spiced figs with gorgonzola on crostini - so delicious. Another thing to do is make a fig jam with fresh figs and use it on crostata. You really can't go wrong with fresh figs.

  14. I like putting sugared dates inside the halved fig and wrapping it in bacon and baking it. Everybody gets all caramelized and juicy, yet crisp and yummy.

  15. Val, I think that is a Brown Turkey fig. It looks just like the ones on my father's tree. I wish I had some right off the tree to send you. They were wonderful! Sadly, the tree dropped all its leaves and died within a week of my dad's passing and has never some back. It was the strangest thing.

    The best way to eat fresh figs is au naturel. I also love to roast them and drizzle with a balsamic syrup. Hmmm. Now, I'm hungry for figs. ;)

  16. I have a tray of fresh figs in the fridge at this very minute. My favorite way is cut in half, with a spoonful of ricotta, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of crushed pistachios.

  17. That photo is great! I'm kind of clueless about fresh whole figs. Do you peel them, or just slice and eat? I've had figs many times, but they've always already been part of something, or dried or candied. Those look terrific, and my neighbors tree has about a million on it just waiting to be picked!

  18. mmm...I LOVE figs! I have a couple of yummy fig recipes:

    Pita Pizza with Roasted Figs, Prosciutto, and Balsamic Reduction at http://whisksandneedles.blogspot.com/2007/10/pizza-pizza-pizza.html and the much easier Goat Cheese Stuffed figs at http://whisksandneedles.blogspot.com/2007/09/goat-cheese-stuffed-figs.html

    Both are yummy! We'll actually be doing the goat cheese stuffed figs this week with the fresh figs we got from our CSA!

  19. mmmmm I love figs!!! always, Gloria

  20. Oops, I did it again. I thought I had commented before. About the Greek figs I cannot really tell what variety they are because there are many. However, my penny worth tip is be careful not to touch the fig latex because some people are allergic to it and it may cause rashes.

  21. With goat cheese on some crusty bread...drizzle of honey on top -yum!

  22. they look great - we were lucky to enjoy a day in our field where we went fig picking

    we eat them as a fruit - remember, Greeks dont like to mix fruit with meat or sauces on a general basis, and they also have an aversion for cooked fruit.

    so figs is figs and we eat them as they is!

  23. I like them roasted with some mascarpone cheese, but I like Nikki's way, very interesting!!!!!

  24. So you know what...the grocery had figs on sale. I touched them and they were kinda soft. I've never had them before and was very afraid to pick them up. I guess I could have had them fresh - but I wasn't too sure. Hmmm - looking at this pic, I'm totally thinking I should have picked some up.


  25. I'm so glad you got to eat fresh figs, Val. They are SO delicious! I just love them. They are so good grilled (and then maybe topped with some mascarpone or goat cheese & a little honey...) :)

  26. I always rolled my eyes at my mom's glowing descriptions of eating raw figs as a child. I grew up knowing only dried figs and could not see how anybody could get excited about the things.

    Until I ate my first deep purply, luscious fresh fig. Then I was in love.

    I like to roast them with balsamic vinegar:

    Or put them on a pizza:


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