September 21st, 2012

Figs probably ripen a bit later in England than in the rest of Europe, but  in spite of a very rainy spring and summer, my friend Kiki’s tree has produced a bumper crop this year.

Figs are indigenous to the Middle East, but cultivation spread from Egypt to Greece, then throughout the Roman Empire and eventually to Northern Europe and the Americas.


Interestingly, the fig is dependent on the fig wasp to pollinate the flower by crawling in to it to lay eggs in the seed pod. The fruity flesh which we eat, is actually made up of  flowers and seeds – there can be as many as 1,000!

fig tree

Fig trees can produce two crops per year – there’s a spring crop growing on last year’s shoots and the main, autumnal, crop growing on the current year’s shoots. The leaves are of course infamous, as used by Adam and Eve to cover their genitals and throughout history as a similar shield for nudity in art.

Figs go particularly well with honey, mascarpone (or crème fraiche) and pistachios, as a pudding and equally well with Jamón Serrano or Prosciutto as a starter.

Eat them now – they are in season!


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20 Responses to Figs

  1. Conor Bofin says:

    I love them with goat’s cheese and honey. Can’t get them easily here except for crappy totally over-ripe stuff that should have been eaten somewhere else about two months ago.
    Have a great weekend,

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Conor, you too. Apparently there are quite a few fig trees in this area, but that particular tree seems to be the only one that’s fertile, or it’s the only one with the right wasps!

  2. ChgoJohn says:

    I’ve bought more figs this year than ever, brandying some and using others to make preserves. Even so, I’ve yet to enjoy one as-is, something I’m going to remedy after my next trip to the market. Thanks for the reminder and serving suggestions.

  3. I’m stuffing them down my throat as fast as I can go:)

  4. I had my first taste of a ripe fid from a friend tree, it was so lovely and juicy, it even had a drop of nectar coming out of it.

  5. Karen says:

    You are lucky to have a friend with a tree. I have to depend on the markets and they can be hard to come by sometimes.

  6. Am keeping my fingers crossed that there may still be a few clinging to our tree when we pop home next week!

  7. We pop figs on the grill to smear over steaks…hoping to plant a tree one of these days!

  8. rumpydog says:

    mmmmmm….. love ’em!

  9. I will eat them now!! I just have to find some!! I did find some and wonder if they should be really soft?? Or were those figs just over ripened??

  10. They just showed up at our grocery store and I was looking for some ideas for figs. I’ll have to buy some now.

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