Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fantastic Figs

It is the peak of fresh fig season, and I for one am in what the cook book says, "Fig Heaven" The Figs are in the markets and the farmers markets, and while they are great dried and in things, I absolutely love fresh figs!

There are many types of cultivated figs, these are the most common ones you can find in the markets

I am partial to the Mission Figs.  Mission Figs were brought to California in the 16th Century, to the San Diego Mission in fact. California is the largest producer of figs in the USA with most orchards in the Madera area.

Figs are an interesting fruit from a tree that is one of the first cultivated agricultural crops of humanity. All faith traditions have stories about figs. Fig is the most mentioned fruit in the Bible. One of the more amusing signs at the John Stewart/Stephen Colbert March for Fear on Washington several years ago was a great test of your Bible knowledge. Please, know this is just for fun on their part and mine. God actually loves figs as he does all of his creatures.

Rumor has it Jesus and most of his contemporaries actually loved Figs and you will to if you don't already eat them.  

Figs are actually an inside out flower, where in the wild forms, pollinators actually have to go inside the fruit to partake of the nectar and in the case of the wasp, reproduce.

I like to eat my figs fresh, but you can cut them up and put into salads, serve stuffed with cheese, poach them or grill them. They go great with yogurt, ice cream, on a pizza with mozzarella, and there is even an Italian dried fig salami for you vegetarians that would like to have the real thing. The only meat in this baby is nut meat.

The California Fig Commission has more recipes that you could ever eat  and my favorite cook book is Fig Heaven by Marie Simmons

Here are some pictures of how you can eat your figs, have fun, and let me know how you like to eat your figs! Of course dried figs are great as well, and make incredible jams and such, but oh, it is fig season and you have got to try these gems, but know they do not keep long, only two days in the fridge so eat them up fast, or poach in wine with a bit of sugar and a vanilla bean for a quick delicious Summer dessert.

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