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Thin-skinned, the flesh of white figs is juicy and soft. Packed full of very tiny edible seeds, the flavor is sweetly rich. Once tasting these yummy little morsels and giving them a chance, those who think they don't like figs just may "give a fig" about eating fresh figs.
Figs are available May through December.
Just as an important a food to modern man as they were to early civilizations, figs are nutritious, deliciously versatile and very portable. Plus, figs easily meet the needs of today’s busy lifestyles and fit into today’s nutrient-conscious dietary guidelines.
Cholesterol-free, sodium-free and fat-free, the protein content in the fig is nearly twice as high as other dried fruits, and over ten times that of fresh fruits. High in fiber, figs are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, magnesium, thiamine and potassium. A compound found in figs, called benzaldehyde, has been shown to help shrink tumors in some tests. Three medium figs have about 120 calories, and three dried figs contain about 143 calories. Figs are considered to be an antibacterial and antiulcer food, as well as a natural laxative. Eating five daily servings of fruits and vegetables lowers the chances of getting cancer. A recent study found that nine or ten daily servings of fruits and vegetables with three servings of low-fat dairy products were effective in lowering blood pressure.
Pancetta, Italian unsmoked bacon, makes a tasty wrap for fresh figs; cook until the bacon is just crisp. To ripen, keep at room temperature. To prepare, wash well; prepare as desired. To store, lay on paper towels; cover with plastic; refrigerate no longer than three days. Use ripe figs immediately. Handle carefully to prevent bruising. Figs may be frozen up to six months.
Fresh figs are especially popular in the Mediterranean cuisines and traditional desserts and cookies are deliciously favored there. Maybe Americans are taking the old cliche' of "don't care a fig" just too literally, as figs have been slow to catch on in the United States.
Native to Asia Minor, figs were one of the first cultivated fruits and enjoyed as a major food in the Mediterranean Basin. The Greeks claimed their goddess Demeter first introduced the fig to mankind while the Romans believed it was their God Bacchus who blessed mortals with this edible fruit. Although the Romans are credited with taking the fig tree to England, the trees were not officially grown until the early part of the sixteenth century. In India, the white fig is regarded as highly nutritious. So full of nutrition, in fact, that Ayurveda, the Science of Life, bestowed it as being "rasayana", a food of longevity.
Recipes that include White Figs. One is easiest, three is harder.