The Sweetest Figs of the Season
Now is the best time of the year to eat fresh figs. The first crop arrives in June and hasn’t yet developed the honey sweetness we associate with a delicious fig. There is a brief break during July before the 2nd crop arrives around the beginning of August. Figs develop their peak flavor from the middle of August to around the middle of September. In our opinion it is worth waiting for that delicious, incredibly rich and sugary fig.
California Figs need warm weather to thrive. They can be found growing almost anywhere in the lower 2/3 of the state. The main commercial producing areas are Madera and Merced in the San Joaquin Valley, about 3 hours south of San Francisco and in Corning, CA about 3 hours north of San Francisco. Maywood Farms in Corning, CA, Stellar in Madera, CA and Susie Bee farms from Chowchilla, in the central Joaquin Valley, bring you some of the best organic figs. California ranks #1 in US production of figs and produces 100 % of the USA’s dried figs and 98 % of fresh figs.
There are hundreds of varieties of figs but the most popular are the Adriatic with light green or yellowish skin and pale pink to reddish lightly sweet flesh, the Kadota with light green skin and sweet white flesh, the Brown Turkey ranges in color from brown to copper with a very fragrant flavor and the Black Mission has a deep purple to black skin with sweet pink flesh.
Figs are picked ripe and do not ripen once they are off the tree. Figs bruise very easily and ripe figs can be carefully stored on a paper towel-lined plate in the refrigerator for a few days. They are best eaten when they are extremely soft. As with most fruit we recommend bringing them to room temperature for best flavor. Stay away from figs that are shrunken, have milky liquid around the stem or have mold.
Figs are very high in fiber and just ¼ cup of figs provides 20% of the recommended daily value. Figs also have no fat, sodium or cholesterol. The season to try them is right now! They are great out of hand or try making your own fresh fig bars with either Adriatic or Black Mission Figs.
Click here for 10 delicious fig recipes. As always we love to see photos of what you made on our Facebook wall. Bon Appetit!