To gastronomes, it is the edible fruit of the fig tree; to botanists, a receptacle.
The fruit is contained in a kind of pouch called a syconium, a little fleshy sac which is first green and later whitish tending towards violet, depending on the species. It is these little sacs filled with seeds (fruits) that are eaten when they turn ripe, and which we call figs. There are several varieties:
- Violet, with burgundy skin and ruby red flesh - very sweet flesh, very juicy and very fragile
- Black, with black skin and garnet-coloured flesh - very thin, very flavourful and with a scent like watermelon.
- Green - less sweet and soft, pear-shaped, also called breba figs or first crop figs
Nutritional values per 100 g
Calories: 80; Water: 83.5 %; Carbohydrates: 19 g; Fat: 0.3 g; Protein: 0.8 g.
Rich in potassium, vitamins A, B and C; a good source of calcium, iron, phosphorus and manganese
The fruit should give when pressed lightly. If it oozes slightly, it will be even better. Avoid any with a lot of black marks or bruises.
July breba figs are fairly large, but it is the smaller, later-ripening fall figs that have a sweeter taste.
Choose figs packaged in compartmentalized trays which protect them from impact.
Store figs at room temperature if they have not yet reached the desire stage of ripeness.
Place in the crisper of the refrigerator to stop the ripening process.
Originally from the Orient, they were already appreciated by the ancient Romans who enjoyed them with cooked ham.
In the 18th century, two or three very ripe figs would be used as a spread on bread, which would then receive a grinding of fresh pepper to bring out all their mellow flavor.
- Make a fig purée to add to a foie gras terrine or to foie gras cooked in cheesecloth
- Or use it moistened with orange juice and Grand Marnier, topped with pastry cream, in little puff pastry tarts
- Roast peeled figs with honey. Finish cooking in a medium oven (150° C) for five minutes. Mix with yogurt and serve with poultry.
- Refreshing : bulgur salad tossed with walnut oil into which you have squeezed the flesh of a fig; garnish with fresh figs and goat cheese
- As a sauce to go with a roast: put the figs in a blender with some white wine
- Poach in a spiced syrup - ginger, star anise and pepper
- Roasted in the oven for a few minutes after having been opened into "petals," and with a drop of honey in the middle, the fig is transformed into a dessert
Italy - Italians like to pair figs with Parma ham, but they also eat them with mozzarella cut into rounds.
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