In season | Figs

By
The Editor
Added
06 February, 2014

Succulent and versatile, fresh figs are often described as a cross between an apple and a pear in both sweetness and texture. Said to have grown in the Garden of Eden, these biblical bell-shaped beauties have transcended the ages and matured into over 700 unique varieties with different skin and interior colours.

The most common variety available is the black genoa fig which has dark purple skin, juicy white flesh and vibrant red seeds. As a general rule, the darker the skin on the fig, the sweeter it tends to be.

High in fibre and rich in antioxidants, figs are great for reducing high blood pressure and aiding weight loss. Fresh figs ripen as soon as they’ve been picked which means they have a very limited two-day shelf life – so it’s best to choose carefully. Look for clean, dry figs with thin, unblemished skin. They should feel a little soft yet firm – similar to a ripe avocado. Store them in the coldest part of your fridge to lengthen their lifetime and be sure to keep them well away from your vegetables because they will deteriorate a lot quicker.

Fresh figs are a delight, and make the perfect adornment to a chewy toffee pavlova or decadent mascarpone tart. Try baking your figs with rose water and goats cheese or quartering them fresh and wrapping with salty prosciutto and kataifi for a sweet and savoury textural experience.

Dried figs with their chewy, date-like texture and concentrated sweetness are the perfect mid-morning snack on their own, or cooked into a sweet yet versatile jam. Simply dice dried figs with cinnamon, pears, sugar and water and you’ll have a scrumptious jammy accompaniment to scones, muffins or antipasti meats and cheeses. Dried figs can last 10 to 12 months in the fridge, if stored in an airtight container.

FAVOURITE FIG RECIPES

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