Region of Origin

Commodity:

Fig

Origin

Figs are part of the mulberry plant family. They are typically 1-3” in diameter, round, and plump, but they do vary in shape. The skin, which can range in colors, is generally thin and delicate while the amount of fleshy wall varies by cultivar. The pulp inside can be firm or runny, and vary in color, depending on variety and ripeness. The pulp contains many tiny seeds that have a very light crunc...

Other Names

Common Fig, Edible Fig, Figo (Italy), Figue (French), Higo (Spanish)

Health Benefits & Nutrition

Figs are a great source of natural energy, soluble fiber, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, zinc, vitamin A, C, K, and B vitamins. Traditionally, the fig has been used as a natural laxative due to its high fiber content, as well as turned into a decoction to soothe sore throats.

Varieties

Black Mission Fig

Description

Brought to California by Spanish missionaries, black mission figs have a dark, almost black skin with a vivid pink-red flesh filled with hundreds of white, small, edible seeds. They are medium-sized and tear-drop shaped. The flavor is straight-forward sugary-sweet with a slight nuttiness.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Black mission figs are one of the most commonly available varieties with wide appeal. They have a solid flavor and a wide variety of pairings. They can be used fresh or dried.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

Jan
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CHILE
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
MEXICO
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
USA (AZ)
Fair
Good
Good
Fair
Good
Good
Good
Fair
USA (CA)
Fair
Good
Good
Fair
Good
Good
Good
Fair

Brown Turkey Fig

AKA: San Piero

Description

Brown turkey figs are a popular variety from Europe, especially in England. They are a large, plump fig with chewy, purple to brown skin with some greenish tint. The interior is a pale pink and full of golden colored, edible seeds. The brown turkey is complex and sweet with an exceptional nutty flavor.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Brown turkey figs may often have some cracking. Some splitting is not a quality issue – it is a sign of a ripe, wonderful fig. Brown turkey figs are an excellent choice when a jammy center and complex flavor is desired.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
USA (AZ)
Fair
Good
Fair
Good
Good
Good
Fair
Fair
USA (CA)
Fair
Good
Good
Fair
Good
Good
Good
Fair

Calimyrna Fig

Description

Calimyrna figs are a Turkish variety that is often dried, but also makes an excellent fresh-eating fruit. They are medium- to large-sized with a plump, rounded shape. The fruit's thin, tender skin is a vivid light green color with yellow blushing. Their jammy flesh is a rich wine red, pink, or caramel brown color. They are particularly sweet with a syrupy aspect and rich, nutty flavor.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Calimyrna figs are quick to ripen. Use immediately. Figs that are exceptionally tender, have a weeping bottom “eye”, and feel heavy will be the sweetest. They are wonderful out-of-hand, but can also be dried.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
USA (AZ)
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
USA (CA)
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair

Kadota Fig

Description

Kadota figs are descendants from an Italian variety called Dottato. They are small and round with thick, light yellow-green skin that is chewy, but tender. The flesh is creamy, with less seeds than some other varieties, and a beautiful amber color with a nutty, honey-like flavor.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Kadota’s fewer seeds make it an excellent fruit for jams, baked goods, and drying. It is also excellent out-of-hand.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
USA (AZ)
Fair
Fair
Fair
USA (CA)
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair

Tiger Stripe Fig

AKA: Panachée

Description

These striking figs first found in Europe, likely Spain, have yellow and green striations and a refined teardrop shape. Their interior is bright crimson-colored with little white seeds. The texture and flavor are like strawberry jam: exceptionally sweet and fruity. They are difficult to grow and the fruit does not dry well (meaning there is no secondary market for the fruit), so they are not widespread for commercial production and remain a relative rarity.

Variety Tips & Tricks

Tiger stripe figs are one of the most striking varieties. They are best for uses that showcase their gorgeous skin and vivid red flesh.

Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
USA (AZ)
Fair
Fair
Fair
USA (CA)
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair
Fair

Foodservice Tips

Traditional Culinary Uses

Around the world, figs are traditionally savored as a fresh-eating fruit and are considered a delicacy. They can also be used in a wide variety of sweet and savory applications. They make an exceptional jam that can be used in baked goods, tarts, galettes, and more. They can also be added to oatmeal, sliced and served on upscale toasts, stuffed with cheeses, or added to salads. They also take well to simple cooking methods, like grilling or pan-searing, especially when accompanied by honey or syrup to encourage caramelization.

Flavor Pairings

Pear, Watercress, Arugula, Endive, Lemon, Red Fresno, Rosemary, Thyme, Hazelnut, Walnut, Honey, Vanilla, Rose Water, Caramel, Blue Cheese, Goat Cheese, Raclette, Crème Fraise, Prosciutto, Bacon, Pork Tenderloin, Duck, Brandy, Port

How to Store & Use in the Kitchen

Ripe figs should be stored in a sealed container in the coldest part of the refrigerator and used ASAP. Figs that need further softening can be stored at room temperature for a short time.

 

Figs are ripe when very tender to the touch (even a small amount of surface mold can be wiped or cut off). Note that some weeping out of the opening on the bottom of the fig indicates prime ripeness and is not a sign of decay. If the opening is tightly closed, the fig was picked underripe and will likely never properly ripen. Figs can be used when still slightly firm if the application requires them to stand up to handling, such as grilling – but they won’t be as sweet. The skin of figs is edible. Figs must be washed very gently to avoid damage to the thin skin. Only the small stem nub needs to be removed before use. They can be used whole, halved, or otherwise cut. Fig pulp can also be frozen for later use.

Fight Food Waste Tips for root to stem cooking

While some like to peel their wild or home-grown varieties of figs, no commercially grown varieties need to be peeled! The skin is entirely edible and its supple firmness is a part of the fig’s allure.

Warehouse Storage & Handling

Maintain these conditions for optimal short-term storage shelf life.*

IDEAL STORAGE TEMP:

30-32°F

RECOMMENDED TEMP STORAGE ZONE:

32-39°F (Cold Storage)

SUBJECT TO CHILLING INJURY:

No

RELATIVE HUMIDITY:

90-95%

PRODUCES ETHYLENE:

No

SENSITIVE TO ETHYLENE:

Yes-Low

ETHYLENE RECOMMENDATIONS:

Store figs away from ethylene producing items to avoid early softening and decay.

RIPENS AFTER HARVEST:

Yes – Figs do not become sweeter after harvest, but they will soften. Figs picked severely underripe may never soften.

PROFESSIONAL RIPENING RECOMMENDED:

No

Quality Assessment

Figs should be firm (but NOT hard), heavy for their size, and smooth skinned. Ideally the bottom “eye” will be open. Some dripping from the eye is normal, but excess liquid suggests the figs are overripe. Figs that are very hard with a tightly closed “eye” will likely never properly ripen. Figs picked at the correct ripeness will soften over time and are at their best tasting when soft to the touch – almost bursting.

Important Handling Notes

Figs are exceptionally delicate. They should be handled with the utmost care and always kept at the proper temperature. Even short exposure to higher temperatures can significantly speed ripening and/or cause condensation that speeds decay. Cases should never be overfilled and open-top pint baskets should never be stacked. Inventory should not be held as they are very perishable.

Optimum Shelf Life

Depending on variety, conditions at harvest, and handling, figs may last up to 2 weeks.

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