Figs are a fruit-lover’s fickle friend. They make a brief appearance in market from June-July, with a second showing again in August-October.
On the whole, fig season is a short one – but it’s worth catching these high fiber fruits while you can.
A one-half cup serving (roughly 3-4 whole figs) contains 120 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and is a good source of potassium (10% daily value).
Fig Fun Facts
If you find yourself needing more fig facts, here are some interesting tidbits from California Figs…and they should know, with California being home to 90% of the US fig farming operation:
- If you like fashion, thank figs: a fig tree was responsible for the first clothing in the Bible, from which Adam & Eve drew fig leaves from to fashion clothing
- Because of their high alkalinity, figs are beneficial for people looking to stop smoking
- Figs aren’t fruits – but rather flowers that have inverted onto themselves; the fig seeds are the real fruits (or drupes)
- Figs are the only fruits (self-inverted flowers?) to ripen and semi-dry on the tree
- The word sycophant (essentially – a self-seeking, servile suckup) derives from the Greek word meaning “one who informs against another for exporting figs” – figs were so revered that ancient Greek law forbade the exporting of high quality figs.
Fixing up Figs
So what do you do with figs? Personally I love to eat them whole – with a penchant for black Mission figs.
But figs aren’t just delicious and nutritious – they’re nice to look at too. Figs are gorgeous when sliced.
Add this appealing appetizer to your pre-party repertoire:
- Spread 1-2 teaspoons goat cheese on a high fiber cracker
- Top with a slice of fig
- Finish off with a dollop of real honey
Are you fretting about not finding figs year round? Check out this interesting story from NPR about more frequent fig availability from advances in growing techniques…and a little fig farmer trickery.