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What Do Figs Taste Like ? Here’s What To Know (Fresh And Dried)

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If you’re looking at a crate of figs in the market and don’t know if you should buy some, you may want to know what they taste like. You’ve surely heard of figs before, but if you’ve never tasted them you’re not going to know if you’re missing out.

So this is what we’ll help you with today. Fresh, sweet figs are a treat but they’re really difficult to come by. So just in case you find fresh figs and they’re perfectly ripe here’s what they taste like.

fig taste

What do figs taste like ?

Figs taste sweet, fruity but not tart, with a honey-nectar note, and a little floral. They’re well known for their sweetness, and are great to use as sweeteners in a recipe just like dates.

If you were to compare figs to something, they would be like a cross between dates and strawberries.

Do figs taste like Fig Newtons ?

Yes, figs do taste like Fig Newtons. Keep in mind that those are cookies, so you’ll have to mentally remove the flavor of cookie dough to get the real fig flavor.

The filling in Fig Newtons is just figs and sugar, like a very thick fig jam.

Read also: Best Fig Substitutes 

Fresh vs dried figs

Fresh figs have more of a fruity flavor, and definite fresh flavor with a hint of honey. Dried figs are more sugar-cane and definitely sweeter, because the sugars has started crystalizing.

figs and dried figs

In terms of overall flavor there isn’t a dramatic change. Both can be used just fine in pies, jams, smoothies, or sauces. Just keep in mind that figs are in season from late spring to late summer. So if you’re in the middle of winter you’re likely going to find just dried figs.

Ripe vs underripe figs

Ripe figs taste sweet, very sweet and kind of mellow, the same way a pear is mellow compared to an apple. Ripe figs are delicious and definitely something you should try. Underripe figs shouldn’t be touched, as the sugars haven’t fully formed and they won’t be any good.

Of course, the figs you see for sale are supposed to be ripe, or just a little underripe. In truth, perfectly ripe figs are difficult to transport. Let us explain.

What does a ripe fig feel like ?

A perfectly ripe fig is soft, saggy even, and might make you feel weird when you touch it. It’s little too close to the texture of skin on flesh to be okay for most people.

Even so, that’s what a real, freshly ripened fig feels like. This means that the figs are very sensitive, and will bruise and split easily if mishandled. This is why they’re difficult to transport.

They will only be sold in their perfectly ripe form if they’re transported quickly to the market. This increases the cost a lot, and is one of the main reasons you’ll usually just find dried figs. Easier to handle and keep for much longer.

An underripe fig will still be a little firm, and it might be what you might normally gravitate towards. But the wrinkly, darker ones are always better.

If you somehow bought a fig that was picked just a little underripe, you can keep it on the counter for a couple of days. It won’t ripen, but it will soften.

How do you eat a fig ?

Figs are very easy to eat, and we recommend eating them on their own at first. You have to experience the flavor first, and then see if you want to pair it with anything else.

For fresh figs, cut off the top part with the stem. Then make sure the fig is washed with cold water. You can eat the skin of a fig, just make sure it’s clean.

Then, cut the fig in at least two pieces, vertically. You should see those beautiful seeds inside, shimmering like little gems. Those are the sweetest part of the fig. Bite into the slices and enjoy !

If you want to pair with something, we recommend some gorgonzola, parmesan, or Gouda. It also goes very well with prosciutto and you’ll love it in a savory salad.

As for dried figs, you can eat them as-is, just remember to find and cut off the top part with the stem. They will be chewy but soft enough for most people.

You can also make fig jam, or preserves, or even freeze some for the middle of winter if you’re looking to make a fig stuffing.

Read Also:What Does Tamarind Taste Like ?

What is the sweetest fig ?

The sweetest fig out there is the Black Mission fig. It’s the smallest fig, and when ripe it’s got a dark purple skin, and even a little wrinkly and saggy.

black mission figs

Then you’ve got Brown Turkey, and after that Calimyrna. All three are available in America, but Calimyrna is the most common one, grown right in California, so no need for import.

This means it’s a little cheaper than the other versions, but just as sweet. Just remember that this version is green even when ripe, so you have to go by texture and how droopy it is, rather than by color.

And that’s pretty much it ! Now you know what figs taste like, and when they’re in season. They get better as the season progresses, by the way.

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