Fig

The fig is one of those soft, sensuous fruits that does not require an expansive imagination to be aware that we are consuming the plant's ripened ovary when we break into one with our teeth.  Beneath the thin, fragile skin lies its fragrant, juicy, heavily seeded flesh that ranges from pale to strawberry pink.  The flavor is honey-like, delicately sweet and succulent.  There is nothing utilitarian about this fruit.  Eating a fig is a simple and pure act of luxuriousness. 

Common Varieties: 
  • Adriatic - good all purpose
  • Black Mission - fairly good flavor
  • Blanche - very sweet lemony flavor
  • Brown Turkey - good flavor that should be eaten only fresh
  • Celeste - very sweet
  • Conadria - mildly sweet.  The first artificial hybrid fig.
  • Croisic - early fig with mild, somewhat bland flavor.
  • Desert King - sweet and delicious
  • Excel - very sweet, excellent flavor
  • Flanders - strong flavor
  • Kadota - rich flavor.  Requires hot, dry climate.
  • Len - small and sweet
  • Osborn's Prolific - fairly large and very sweet, best eaten fresh
  • Panachee - dry but sweet.  Best eaten fresh.
  • Tena - full flavored, medium sweetness
  • Genoa - sweet.  Requires cooler weather.
  • Ventura - excellent flavor to be eaten fresh
  • Verte - small, excellent flavor.  Short season.
Known Varieties: 

Over 600

When in season: 
early-summer
late-summer
fall
twice a year
How to select: 

Look for figs that are plump and tender, but not too soft. They should have a subtly sweet odor.  They ripen very little once removed from the tree so ibe certain they are ripe when purchasing.  Because they must be sold ripened they are very fragile and do not store well.  Refrigerate to extend their life. 

How to eat: 

The thin skin, flesh and seeds are all edible.  Just be sure to remove any leftover stem before eating whole.  Cut figs make a terrific accompaniment to a butter leaf green salad.

Native to: 

Asia Minor or present day Turkey

History: 
  • The fig is one of the earliest cultivated fruits with the Greeks mentioning them as far back as 60 BCE.  There is also mention of figs on Sumerian tablets that date back to 2500 BCE.
  • Being one of the sweetest fruits, figs were used in ancient times as a sweetener in cooking, before the creation of refined sugars that are typically used today.
Serving Size: 
One Large Fig, 2" Diameter
Nutritional Highlights: 

Fresh figs are rich in B vitamins and contain good levels of antioxidant vitamins such as A, E and K.

Caloric Ratio %
Carbs: 
93
Proteins: 
3
Fats: 
3