Although dried figs are available all year long, now’s the time to enjoy fresh figs – an end-of-season pleasure that helps say farewell to summer and hello to autumn. No matter which variety of figs you like best, be it Black Mission, Brown Turkey, or Kadotas, to name just three, they are all inimitably luscious and full of tiny seeds that make eating them so much fun. And, in case you didn’t know, those seeds are actually the flowers of the fig tree that mature inside the fruit. Says Fresno, California-based Valley Fig Growers (www.valleyfig.com), the largest handler of figs in North America “Fig trees have no blossoms on their branches. The blossom is inside of the fruit! Many tiny flowers produce the crunchy little edible seeds that give figs their unique texture.” Because fresh figs are in season and prices are attractive, besides eating figs out of hand, covering them in chocolate, or using them in recipes, I’ve also been making fresh fig jam for a recipe I’ll be sharing soon for a special holiday bourbon cake that has to be made weeks in advance of serving. Made with fresh fig jam, dried figs, dates and pecans, the cake is something you’ll truly want to consider for your Thanksgiving or Christmas table. For right now, Fresh Fig Cookies, with their cinnamon and nutmeg bite, will jump start your urge to begin fall baking. Artfully sweet and seductive, figs are here and with them, many good things to come.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at email@example.com.