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Posted by Griz 
March 19, 2016 06:08AM
A friend generously gave me some figs from her tree. I halved them, drizzled them with honey, and popped them in the oven until they were softened (they were pretty soft and squishy to start with), then served them with yogurt and chopped toasted almonds. They were horrible. Bland, and the texture wasn't pleasant either. I've not ever really "got" figs, I bought some a while ago from a place in the Hawkes Bay and also found them bland (served them raw with prosciutto and goats cheese)...why do people rave? Is it the variety perhaps?
Re: Figs
March 19, 2016 11:45PM
Figs are polarising...or should that be polarizing! I like them - but use them mostly in salads having seasoned and caramelized them under the grill. We had them with bacon for breakfast this morning. I love them with Castello Blue. I think they need to be helped along with other flavours, but I have a friend who loves them so much that she consumes many while picking them from the tree! That said it is not a good year for them here in H.B. My Brown Turkey has a HUGE crop but they are rather small and ordinary. The birds are very happy tho'. They do need to be bursting with ripeness!
Re: Figs
March 20, 2016 12:33AM
I eat them straight off the tree but also cook with them. Last night I made a chicken and fig Tagine which was lovely and today I have a loaf of fig and walnut bread in the oven.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/20/2016 12:52AM by Bev.
Re: Figs
March 20, 2016 04:50AM
I love fresh figs and almost always eat them raw - with yoghurt for lunch, quartered in a salad with lettuce, basil and red onions, with feta or blue cheese, in a salad with home-smoked salmon. The attraction for me is the texture as well as the flavour, and if they are overripe they lose the crunchy texture and become slimy and unpleasant.

I think the problem is that figs have to be at a specific stage of ripeness - a day early and they are chalky and tasteless, a day late and they are squishy and bland. I have found that perfectly ripe figs will hold for a couple of days in the fridge if they are unblemished.

As for varieties, yes there is a difference. We've had our first crop this year from a Brunoro Black, and the flavour is wonderful, a little like a muscat grape, with much more character than the White Adriatic that we usually pick.
Re: Figs
March 20, 2016 10:43AM
Hi Griz, although I love fresh fruit, I don't like fresh figs - way too sweet for me. However I absolutely love them like this: cut a cross in the top half way down the fruit then add a little dab of gorgonzola (dolce not picante), or any good blue cheese, a tiny pinch of brown sugar and half a tsp of either aged balsamic or pomegranate syrup over the top then under the grill until bubbling and a bit caramelised.
Re: Figs
March 21, 2016 12:31AM
The ones I've tried have only been faintly sweet, and that is the only flavour I get from them, sweet, bland and mushy. Perhaps they've been too ripe, although they haven't had the glorious colour on the inside that I see in pictures, they've been green flushed with brown on the outside, and starting to go a pinkish red in the middle. I wonder if it is something to do with my tastebuds, perhaps I just can't taste them?
Re: Figs
March 21, 2016 02:13AM
Im not a lover either - I often try the ones on my neighbours tree BUT they never ripen and are tasteless.

I wonder if some of the allure is the romantic notion of them?
They look quite lovely photographed and seem a bit of a historical fruit that suggests passion? I might be totally off the mark here but thats the impression I get. A bit like oysters. I LOVE them but others hate them and dont get it like I do.
Re: Figs
March 21, 2016 04:46AM
Our fig tree is a 'Turkish Brown' that is said to be suitable for growing in a colder climate. The tree is just over three years old and right from the start has had a huge number of small figs that largely remained hard at the end of the growing season. I was just about ready to give it a chop last year thinking we were just wasting space and time, when TPANDAV encouraged me to give the tree more time. I am glad I did. We espaliered the tree and pruned out excess growth so that the figs are now exposed to the sun. This season we are having much larger fruit and some are actually ripening. However, they are not really sweet and, like others here, I find it difficult to judge when to pick the figs. Also, they are not pink inside, more a beige tinged colour. I have taken note of suggestions here how to serve them and will give the blue cheese combo a try.
Re: Figs
March 24, 2016 10:17PM
I really like figs but the best are fresh from the tree. I pick mine when milk starts to appear at the base and they are soft and juicy. The flavour is delicate yet distinct.
Due to being so perishable I don't think you can buy them at their best.
This season is not one of the better ones. We have loads of fruit but quite small and some of the figs are a little dry.
Our dog loves them, he bounces around the tree looking for fruit.
Re: Figs
March 25, 2016 03:21AM
Interesting the ones I had tried up until the other day have been fresh from the tree, and I really didn't like them. I was in Moore Wilson the other day and they had some small brown figs, and I bought two just to try them and I thought they were much nicer than the ones I'd had previously, not enough that I went back to buy more, but I could see that some people would like them, and I wondered what they'd be like with the more concentrated flavour if they were roasted.
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