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Figs

Postby Earthmaiden » Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:18 pm

Everyone's talking about figs at the moment (because they're in season). PP has just posted a very nice looking recipe from Nigel Slater in the 'Foodies in the News' section. A FB friend, known to some here, posted a meal of figs drizzled with honey and cheese and leaves which had people drooling.

The thing is, I've never had figs in a Mediterranean country and have to rely on ones from the supermarket as we don't have much else here. There was a tree in our garden when I was a child but they never ripened on the bracing Norfolk coast. I have tried and tried to work out what it is about figs that sends people into raptures. Most things poached in honey and cinnamon will taste nice but what is the bare raw fig supposed to be like? I bought the best ones I've ever bought the other day, large, soft, a nice texture - but tasteless. I am thinking that like many supermarket fruits they miss the mark and should be very sweet and juicy, possibly with juice that runs down the chin and doesn't need honey or anything else to be nice. Am I right?

I adore dried figs.

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Re: Figs

Postby karadekoolaid » Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:40 pm

Yes - if they don´t taste of anything, they were probably picked when they were green.
I would love to eat one of those glorious, purple figs with the juicy middle, but here, we only seem to get green figs. I make them into chutney; the locals make something called "Figs in Syrup", which are sickeningly sweet and don´t taste of figs very much.

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Re: Figs

Postby Pepper Pig » Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:58 pm

I didn't eat figs for years because of being force fed Syrup of Figs as a child to keep me regular. :o :roll: :lol: (What was it with that generation)?

Then one day I was in the newly opened Pizza Express in Pinner and one of their desserts was baby figs in some sort of liquid with, I think, creme fraiche - Mascarpone was yet to be cool. I was completely hooked from that moment on. KK is right about the greenness. If they're really ripe then they usually go off the next day.
Last edited by Pepper Pig on Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Figs

Postby herbidacious » Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:07 pm

edit: sorry about typos.
Once you've had them straight off the tree, you probably won't bother to buy them in the UK again. They are amazing.

Thing is, they don't continue to ripen once picked, and obviously they have to pick them before they are dripping with juice, as they won't keep and won't transport. Eating ones you buy is a bit like never eating aubergine that's been cooked properly (which is why a friend of mine 'doesn't like aubergines'.)

The ones I have had in my garden, and someone else's in Kent have been much nicer than ones straight off the tree in Italy. If you can get them to fruit, they do well in parts of the UK. But I have difficulties with mine. An air frost took everything off it one spring which effectively meant no figs for two years. It's covered in them now, but none are for this year. I have never had many though, alas.

I took a photo of it, but it's hard to make it out... That's a 77cm pot.

IMG_3955.JPG
IMG_3955.JPG (171.06 KiB) Viewed 298 times

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Re: Figs

Postby Earthmaiden » Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:23 pm

Oooh, I LOVE the Pizza Express ones! Have you had these? https://www.thebaytree.co.uk/marinated- ... ES&_page=1
not cheap but I can never pass them by :yum.

I think that by the comments so far, supermarket figs are just as I suspected! It's the same with so many fruits. I must find someone with a south facing tree.

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Re: Figs

Postby herbidacious » Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:04 pm

Ah if it needs to be south facing, maybe that's partly why mine doesn't do so well. Just moved it further down the same fence (NNE). Not doing that again...!

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Re: Figs

Postby Earthmaiden » Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:21 pm

I don't know, I just assumed that a lovely south facing walled garden (the sort you get at a stately home) would be ideal!

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Re: Figs

Postby Stokey Sue » Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:38 pm

The ones you get in restaurants are usually the canned green figs in syrup, which at one time seemed to be the only dessert available in London Cypriot restaurants that didn’t involve sticky pastry, I quite like them

They are another thing that used to be widely available in ordinary supermarkets but not so much now - though when I Googled it seems Waitrose stock them at a reasonable price https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/products/ ... 887-147888

I love figs, I liked the dried Izmir figs from Turkey we used to have at Christmas, I have enjoyed them when on holiday in warmer countries, and at the moment imported Turkish figs are good, though not cheap - I thought those around a few weeks ago (Spanish?) were rubbish. I’ve got one to have with some mild soft goat cheese :yum

Was never a fan of California syrup of figs though

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Re: Figs

Postby PatsyMFagan » Sun Sep 06, 2020 4:30 pm

Earthmaiden wrote:I don't know, I just assumed that a lovely south facing walled garden (the sort you get at a stately home) would be ideal!


Figs do like a sheltered spot and against a south facing wall would be ideal.

Coincidentally, watching 'The A-Z of Gardening ' (repeat) this morning, James Wong was extolling the virtues of home made Syrup of Figs, using fresh figs and dried Senna seed pods . Apparently figs cause the intestines to absorb water, which helps with constipation and the extra fibre is always good for gut health :thumbsup

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Re: Figs

Postby Pommes » Sun Sep 06, 2020 4:51 pm

Figs!Figs!Figs!

Being not only fortunate to live in S.W. France, we also happen to have a very old fig tree in the garden. This year it is producing vigorously, huge purple figs. There really is no alternative to them & supermarket specimens will never compete with a properly ripe fig, freshly picked & popped in the mouth. Only problem is, that I have a fairly low, daily intake threshold!! Hey Ho!!

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Re: Figs

Postby cherrytree » Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:01 pm

We’re thinking of getting a fig tree for our front garden . It is so sunny down here in Lozere despite its high altitude. I love figs so much.

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Re: Figs

Postby aero280 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:37 pm

I just bought a tray of figs in Costco... :)

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Re: Figs

Postby Pepper Pig » Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:46 pm

But you have to use them so quickly! Unless you are funding an orphanage

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Re: Figs

Postby WWordsworth » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:43 pm

I haven't eaten figs for a couple of decades now.
I like them, both dried and fresh, but they really don't agree with me.

Maybe it's time I tried them again.
On a day when I plan to stay at home.

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Re: Figs

Postby Pommes » Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:48 pm

But PepperPig, they (open) freeze really well, & are great to poach with other fruit during the winter, or just simply to pop in the oven with a spoonful of water & brown sugar.

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Re: Figs

Postby Pepper Pig » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:49 pm

That’s a good idea, thanks. WW they don’t agree with my husband either.

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Re: Figs

Postby WWordsworth » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:20 pm

The last time I ate figs was at work.

I missed my plonker of a manager announcing his resignation because I was in the loo :roll:

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Re: Figs

Postby ZeroCook » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:56 pm

So true about eating them straight off the tree, Herbidacious.

They rarely ripen properly in the UK, but green figs make the most fantastic crystallised preserves - very South African - green fig konfyt - probably originally via the Med/Middle East.


Did not know that they freeze well, Pommes. Mercy buckets for that :D

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Re: Figs

Postby Stokey Sue » Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:11 pm

Don’t remember having the fig jam in South Africa but you can certainly get it in Turkish an Cypriot stores - their version is a bit too much sugar syrup for me

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Re: Figs

Postby ZeroCook » Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:22 pm

Looks tasty, Sue. Yes, pretty sweet. The South African versions vary from a jammy sort of jam that you can spread, which are just a usual jam sweetness, to crystallised figs which are quite special and occasional - probably because they are so sweet. Fantastic with cheese, especially goat's and are served whole. Beautiful bright green and a a lovely green fig aroma.

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