Tiger Stripe Figs
Inventory, 3 lbs : 0
This item was last sold on : 09/05/22
|Food Buzz: History of Figs|
|Food Fable: Figs|
Tiger Stripe figs have a tear-drop shape, averaging 3-5 centimeters in diameter, and are a smaller variety with a bulbous base, tapering to a short neck. The skin is smooth, thin, and pale-yellow, covered in light to dark green vertical striping. Underneath the surface, the skin is connected to a layer of soft, white-yellow flesh, encasing a crimson, sticky pulp. There are also many small, edible seeds suspended within the pulp giving it a crunchy and semi-dry, jam-like consistency. Tiger Stripe figs are aromatic with a sweet and bright, berry flavor with hints of citrus, often likened to the taste of raspberry preserves.
Tiger Stripe figs are available in the late summer through fall in hot, dry climates.
Tiger Stripe figs, botanically classified as Ficus carica, are a variegated, common fig variety that belongs to the Moraceae family. The striped fruit is known by many other names, including Panache figs, Panachee figs, and Variegato figs, and is a late-maturing variety that requires a long, warm growing season to develop its high sugar content. Unlike most fig varieties, Tiger Stripe fig trees don’t produce a breba crop, or what growers call a bonus crop, in the early spring. The delicate fruits also have a short shelf life, limiting their commercial availability, reserving the variety to be grown and sold through farmer’s markets. Tiger Stripe figs are selected for their sweet taste, and growers favor the trees for its productivity and drought tolerance.
Tiger Stripe figs are an excellent source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, which assists in protein synthesis within the body and copper, which can help with metabolism. The fruits also provide some fiber to stimulate digestion and vitamins A and K, which can help reduce inflammation.
Tiger Stripe figs are best suited for raw applications as their sweet, sticky flesh is showcased when consumed fresh, out-of-hand. The fruits can be eaten whole with the skin on, or they can be sliced into halves or quarters and served on charcuterie boards, ice cream, or grain bowls. They can also be tossed into salads, chopped into salsas, spread over toast with honey, or dipped whole into chocolate and coated in sea salt. Beyond fresh applications, Tiger Stripe figs can be used as a topping over pizza, cooked down into jams, compotes, and sauces, skewered and grilled, or baked into tarts, cakes, and bars. They can also be dried for extended use. Tiger Stripe figs pair well with fruits such as peaches, raspberries, pears, and citrus, fresh cheeses such as blue, feta, goat, and burrata, wine, bitter greens, nuts such as pistachios, walnuts, and almonds, vanilla, rosemary, prosciutto, and balsamic vinegar. Figs are highly perishable and need to be refrigerated. It is recommended to consume the figs within 1 to 2 days for the best quality and flavor.
The Wolfskill Experimental Orchard is home to one of the world’s largest living assortments of edible figs with approximately 300 varieties of commercially grown figs, unnamed figs, and rare fig varieties including the Tiger Stripe. The orchard was originally established in 1842 by John Wolfskill, a horticulturist who spent his entire life collecting seeds and cuttings of fruit trees to preserve and cultivate. Wolfskill also sold his fruit along with beef jerky to hungry miners during the California Gold Rush to generate income to sustain his orchard. In 1980, 107 acres of the orchard was donated to the US Davis Department of Pomology with the mission to study and preserve varieties of figs, persimmons, olives, stonefruits, grapes, and various nuts. Within the orchard, there is also a National Clonal Germplasm Repository, run by the United States Department of Agriculture, that contains a genebank preserving fig varieties for future study.
Figs are native to Western Asia and have been growing wild since ancient times, first documented around 5,000 BCE. The fruits were introduced into the Mediterranean through trade routes, where many different varieties began to be extensively cultivated for commercial use. The history of Tiger Stripe figs is mostly unknown, with many experts tracing it to older figs found in France, Italy, or Spain. The variety was mentioned in several texts between the 17th and 19th centuries and was later introduced into the United States, where it grew well in hot regions of California. Today Tiger Stripe figs can be found at farmer’s markets and specialty grocers throughout California and are also a popular home garden variety.
Recipes that include Tiger Stripe Figs. One is easiest, three is harder.
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