Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fresh Figs

Figs dont travel or hold once they are picked very well. they are also pretty rare in this part of the world, and most of the figs produced go directly to be dried. so its always a treat to see them come in off of the produce trucks. i had brown turkey figs today that came from northern California, but they can be grown in Oregon as well. the most common varieties are usually brown turkey, black mission, and kudota-kudotas are very popular as they dry better then the other varietys and are the fig of choice for fig newtons. high in nutrients and extremely sweet they have a very caramel-ly flavor. once sliced they are absolutely gorgeous, and looked at as an extremely sensual food, as the leaves of figs are often covering the bodies of both men and women in sculpture and paintings. in the bible (genesis) adam and eve left the garden of eden clad in fig leaves after eating the "forbidden fruit".

if you come across the opportunity to buy them ever you should. i like them plain, but if the sweetness is a bit much for you then try them with a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar. the vinegar will help to balance the sweetness and helps it become an almost perfectly balanced bite. they also contain enough sugar that they can be bruleed with a quick pass of a torch, or even seared on a hot pan or griddle for a few seconds. they are a fabulous pairing for cheeses, cured meats, wine, and even chocolate. a few green thumb guys i know even have fig trees that while taking a few years to produce, they have had some luck growing them with my surrounding climate.

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