A fig is a sweet, soft and hollow pear shaped multiple fruit, botanically called a syconium, with many tiny seed-like fruits, eaten fresh when in season, but mostly marketed dry.
The fig fruit is a multiple fruit like a pineapple but a better comparison is to strawberry or mulberry which are also multiple fruits made of many tiny seed-like fruits. The tiny fig fruits are however, completely enclosed in a structure called a syconium.
Freshly harvested figs can only last about one week. As a result about 90% of the figs produced worldwide is marketed dried. (The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition)
Ways to serve Fresh Figs
The flavour and fragrance of fresh figs are best at room temperature so it’s advisable to serve fresh figs at room temperature.
Quarter or half the fresh figs lengthwise and serve skin side down on a plate. You can enhance flavour by sprinkling some orange or lemon juice, or drizzling some honey.
Wrap a thin slice of prosciutto (Italian style ham) around a fresh fig and arrange them on a plate and serve.
You can also serve fresh figs with walnuts or almonds or a dollop of sweetened and spiced Ricotta cheese or cream cheese.
Add chopped dried or fresh figs to fruit salads or fresh salads.
Thread skewers with fresh or dried figs and grill with diced meats or kebabs.
Sprinkle chopped figs over baked sweet potatoes or winter squash or mashed potatoes or mashed squash.
How Serve or Use Dried Figs
Use dried figs in recipes that call for apricots, dates and other dried fruits.
Use dried figs in whole wheat muffins, cakes, cookies and cake fillings.
Stir chopped dried figs into low-fat cream cheese and spread on pumpernickel bread.
Mix chopped fig and cottage cheese or Cream Cheese and serve on crackers.
Add dried chopped figs in cooked cereal or oatmeal in the last minute of cooking.
Soak dried figs in wine until they plump up, then heat them and serve with with pork or poultry.
Chocolate Chip Fig and Pecan Fruit Cake