Figs are an unusual fruit (technically an inverted flower) with a rich history, earning notoriety in many cultures around the world. Legend has it that citizens of ancient Athens called themselves philosykos which literally translates to 'friend of the fig'. Who wouldn't want to be a philosykos- figs are an excellent source of dietary fiber, antioxidants and essential vitamins.
Figs require full sun, and will tolerate almost any soil type. They're drought tolerant, but produce a better crop with regular irrigation. If unpruned, they can reach 15 feet high and wide, but they can be kept to six feet with regular pruning*. There are even some dwarf varieties that grow well in a pot. Fig trees are perfectly adapted to our Mediterranean climate and extremely prolific, your family and friends are sure to flock to your home when fig season rolls around late summer through autumn. Figs may mean farewell to summer, but with an abundance of these delicious fruit to snack on, who cares?
Here are some of our favorite fig varieties**, and some tantalizing recipes to try too...
Black Mission - Purplish-black skin with strawberry-colored pulp and luscious flavor, this variety is a farmer's market favorite. Delicious when eaten fresh, dried or preserved.
Brown Turkey - Plump fruit with brown skin and pink flesh. Sweet, rich flavor is best enjoyed fresh.
Kadota - Large fruit with light greenish-yellow skin and amber flesh, sometimes referred to as a "white" fig. Scrumptious when eaten fresh, dried or preserved.
Panache/Tiger - A fancy fig indeed! This variety boasts stylish yellow stripes on green flesh which contrasts beautifully with the crimson pulp.
Violette de Bordeaux - This dwarf variety stays small, but the fruit still packs a punch. Small to medium purple fruit with deep red strawberry flesh and tasty fresh or dried.
*Be sure to wear gloves when harvesting or pruning figs, as the trees produce a sap which can be mildly irritating to the skin.
**Inventory changes throughout the season, please contact the stores for current availability.
Visit our Fresh Eats board on Pinterest for some delectable fig recipes to try this fall: Phenomenal Fig Recipes