Figs are an absolute luxury for me. They are rare, exotic, and have a short, fleeting season, which makes them all the more coveted (don’t we always want what is hardest to get?). Figs remind me of how beautiful and special eating in season can be, and how we need to be more mindful of the choices we make.
My favorite way to enjoy figs is just to eat them plain, maybe with a glass of wine and a soft cheese on the side if I’m being really indulgent.
If I’m feeling patient, I like to peel them, because sometimes they can cause a fuzzy, itchy feeling in my mouth. Supposedly that comes from the sap around the stem, and the riper a fig is the less likely this is to occur. But I don’t particularly like the skin anyway so most times I peel it off. It’s pretty easy to do, just grab the stem and pull down, it should take a good chunk of skin with it, and then carefully peel back anything that doesn’t come off with the stem.
If you want to dress up your figs, my favorite way is to quarter the figs, dollop on a little goat cheese, a sliver of prosciutto, and a bit of basil. The flavors blend really well together, and it makes a really special and great looking appetizer.
Ok so it’s a stretch to say figs are still in season, but you may still be able to find them. If you can, now is the perfect time to buy because the fruit will be sweeter and more mature than its early season predecessors. Don’t be scared off by wrinkly, ugly-looking figs. In fact, the uglier they look, the better they will probably taste. Don’t be put off by some oozing liquid from the bottom either. The only thing you should watch for is any sign of mold or a sour smell.
Nutrition bonus: Figs are a good source of fiber, and may help prevent breast cancer and parasites. So get your fill while you can!