The fig is a fruit. Though exquisite when fresh and ripe, it spoils far too quickly to make fresh fruit practical. Figs are usually available in dried form. There are two main types of fig, the small dark ones (mission figs) and the large pale ones (all others: calimyrna, kadota, brown turkey, etc.). Most dried figs are mission figs, but the other types generally taste a little better.
The fig is actually a flower inverted into itself, sometimes needing to be pollinated by a wasp that crawls inside through the bottom hole.
Figs are highly nutritious. One serving of figs is 40 grams, about ¼ cup, or about 3 Calimyrna figs or about 4 to 5 Mission figs. Figs are high in fiber, providing 20% of the Daily Value — more dietary fiber per serving than any other common dried or fresh fruit.
Availability, selection, and storage[edit | edit source]
Fresh figs are available July through September. Dried figs are never out of season, and are available all year. You can find them in your favorite grocery store in the produce or dried fruit section. Look for fresh figs that are soft and smell sweet. Handle carefully because their fragile skins bruise easily. You can store fully ripened figs in the refrigerator up to 2 days, assuming the store didn't already do so. Bring the figs to room temperature before serving.