Did you know that figs are not fruits, they are flowers. The whole edible part of the figs we eat is the fleshy base of a flower that envelops florets.
There are different varieties of figs available, we have the mission fig, and the calimyrna, which can be mostly found in Turkey. They both have crunchable small seeds enclosed in a velvety but edible flesh.
What do figs taste like? Figs have a very strong flavor and their tastes differ with variety but all figs are moist and sweet in a honey-like manner. The mission fig, for example, is sweet, but that sweetness is balanced out by an acidic and fruity flavor, while the Calimyrna’s sweetness is accompanied by a nutty flavor.
When you bite into figs, they feel jelly-like and pulpy but there isn’t juice. You get a satisfying crunch as you chew on those small seeds. Eating figs is something that can be akin to chewing guava.
Figs can go rancid and get spoiled in very little time, so it is not uncommon to see people drying them out in a bid to preserve them. With respect to this, dried figs taste a little bit different from fresh figs because the figs have been dehydrated and the sweetness has been absorbed into the now dry skin. So there is no syrupy feeling that fresh fig gives.
Nutritional Benefits of Figs
Figs are a good supply of natural sugar and soluble fiber. They are naturally very nutritious and have plenty of benefits to the human body. Minerals and essential vitamins are not lacking in figs. You have iron, calcium, magnesium, copper, and potassium. They also contain Vitamin K and A.
Figs have a quite high fiber content that makes them act as a natural laxative that helps to nourish the intestines and facilitate bowel movement. Potassium present in figs can also help to control blood pressure. Calcium is good for bone density and structure.
Aside from helping to maintain healthy blood pressure, potassium helps to counteract the urinary excretion of calcium, thereby keeping more calcium in the bones. Iron is necessary for proper bodily function and cell communication.
Figs are also high in dietary fiber, this can help to facilitate weight loss by conveying a feeling of fullness and reducing hunger cravings. They also contain probiotics that are great for grooming the healthy bacteria in our mouths that aid digestion.
A lot of people consume too much sodium which is salt. This is because they eat too much-processed foods. Eating figs can help balance out a high intake of sodium and keep one’s overall health in check.
Culinary Uses of Figs
Figs are sweet, so they would be loved by almost anyone. The best way to deal with figs would be to eat them in their most natural form. Which is plucking them ripe from the tree and eating fresh. Be careful when you try this because it is not a good idea to eat unripe fruit. This doesn’t mean that eating figs is just limited to eating them plain like that. Figs can be paired with other food items, creating a blend of sweet-savory flavor.
Figs can be used as part of the toppings you use for your baked pizza. Instead of cramming the top of your pizza with cheese and pepperoni, caramelize some onions and add figs to the mix. This would be a sweet and a much healthier alternative.
Figs also do well when roasted together with persimmons. You can also try out your hands on some honey-roasted ricotta and grapes. This combo can be served with crackers or flatbreads to tone down the flavor and create contrast but the mix is very nutritious with enough flavor to go around.
If you have toast and you are looking for a way to turn it into a healthy breakfast, you can flick on some figs and the magic is done. It is easy to make, and it turns your breakfast into a nutritious affair. Chia pudding can also be accompanied by figs. It is very healthy and has low calories.
Where Are Figs Grown? How Do You Procure Them?
Figs are native to the Mediterranean, Middle belt, and western part of Asia. Figs cannot tolerate cold temperatures but they are grown everywhere in the world, anywhere with a climate that is warm enough.
Figs are grown in the United States in California, for commercial purposes. Outside the United States, they are grown in Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Morocco, and Spain. All of these countries are top producers of figs.
If you want to buy figs in the US, you can get them while they are still fresh or buy dried ones if you want them to last a little longer than normal. You can get figs from the farmers’ markets or large chain grocery stores.
Do Figs Taste Like Raisins?
Figs have a delicious taste and flavor that is somewhat similar to a raisin but the difference can be told as you can’t replicate the taste and flavor of figs. The flavor is not as intense as that of dates if you are wondering but it is just as sweet and passes the feeling of fullness and creaminess.
Facts You Don’t Know About Figs
- The scientific name for ‘fig’ is Ficus carica, from the family Moraceae.
- The word ‘fig’ is derived from the French figue and Latin ficus which means fig or fig tree.
- Figs are one of the first edible plants that were cultivated by humans.