The fig is thought to be the oldest cultivated fruit known to man. Many centuries ago, they were native to Asia and the Mediterranean, although they’ve been introduced to places all over the world with similar climates. The Mediterranean diet has become very popular in the U.S. but an essential part of it, the fig, is often forgotten. Since ancient times, figs have been prized for their sweetness and nutritional profile. If you’ve never experienced the fig beyond a chewy newton, I highly suggest you do.
Figs contain the following nutrients:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin K
Their nutritional profile allows figs to provide these benefits:
- Low-calorie and low-fat
- Digestive health
- Cardiovascular health
Figs have been a long time staple of many recipes, but they don’t travel particularly well. They have a short shelf-life and need to be eaten quickly after harvesting. For this reason, most figs are consumed as a dry fruit or preserve, such as a jam or jelly. Fresh figs can be substituted with dry ones in most recipes which is great news for fall and winter feasts!
Fresh figs are delicious but since they are in season from June to September, holiday dishes are usually prepared with dried figs or fig preserves. Dried figs also make great snacks, much like raisins and apricots do.
How to Eat a Fresh Fig
Figs have very delicate skin, so wash them gently with cool water and carefully remove the stem with a knife. The entire fig is edible so there is no need to cut, peel or seed them before eating. Simply take one in your hand and enjoy!
Holiday Fig Recipes:
October 25th, 2010