Monday, September 5, 2011

Have You Tried...Fresh Figs?

They're not that unusual, but for some reason, many Americans have never eaten a fresh fig.  I blame Fig Newtons and dried figs - those are nothing like a fresh fig.  A member of the mulberry family, the fig possesses a sweet, chewy flesh and crunchy edible seeds. A fresh fig tastes like a mix of a peach and a strawberry! Those seeds don't get stuck in your teeth like they do in a Fig Newton - so don't worry about that!

I've heard multiple people proclaim the deliciousness of figs as a sandwich filling - sliced fresh fig, a smear of honey, and a smear of organic peanut butter. Sounds good to me! 

 People also seem to like to grill fresh figs with a light brush of olive oil on them, and then serve with a smidge of feta or goat cheese.

  • Purchase fresh figs. Look for plump and tender figs that possess a deep purple color. They should give off a slightly sweet scent. Avoid figs that are hard, mushy or sour-smelling. If your grocer does not carry figs, head to a specialty food store, such as Whole Foods Market or Trader Joe's. Inspect your figs carefully before purchase, and avoid ones that are clearly bruised. Figs bruise easily, and this bruise will be the first area of the fig to go bad.
  • Wash the fresh figs in cool water.
  • Cut off the small stem with a sharp knife.
  • Figs are usually eaten whole---skin and all.No need to peel. I slice mine into slices or chunks and eat with my yogurt.