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What Goes With Fig ? Check All The Pairings (Cheese, Meat, Herbs And More)

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Alright, you’ve got yourself a nice batch of figs. They weren’t the cheapest, but you snatched the best you could find and can’t wait to dig into them. But how do you eat them what do you serve them with ?

Of course, you can just eat them as-is. But what if you want to serve them all fancy-like? What if you want to make the best entree platter there ever was ? Then you need to know what to pair figs with.

This is where we come in. If there’s one thing we absolutely love its food, and we’ll get you the best fig pairings we can think of !

fig combinations

What goes with fig ?

Figs have a very sweet, honey-like flavor with fruity notes. This makes them pair great with both sharp and mild cheeses, cured meats and dark meats, warm spices like cardamom and nutmeg, and definitely some sweet red wine.

You can also pair figs with other fruits, like bananas, dates, apples, pears, and even add a little honey on top too. Nuts are a welcome addition especially pecans, walnuts, and pistachios.

There are endless combinations you can make with figs, and we’ll explore each and every one of them in the following sections. We’re covering the best cheeses, meats, spices, herbs, wines and fruits so you’ve got a big list to choose from.

First though, we need to understand what figs taste like, so we can understand the flavor profile. This will show us why some pairings work better, while other are simply not so great.

What do figs taste like ?

Figs taste fruity, but not tropical. They’re got a more mellow fruit note, but are very sweet with honey and floral rose notes. This makes them a very sweet fruit, not a very tart one.

Even so, it goes great with salty, sharp flavors, or very deep and meaty ones. If you were to pair figs with a light flavor like white meat, you’d only taste the figs. They’re meant to be just an accent, not the main event so pay attention to the following list.

Read also: Best Fig Substitutes

What cheese goes with figs ?

The best cheeses that go with figs are the mild and sharp cheeses. By mild we mean anything like Edam, Gouda, Swiss, Monterey Jack, Colby, you name it. When paired with these the buttery, sweet notes in the cheese will come out.

Another great set of options of aged, sharp cheeses like Parmesan, Pecorino Romano, sharp Cheddar, Fontina, and Limburger. These will contrast with the fig’s sweetness, and tone down the saltiness just a little. But for the real cheese lovers, this is the best combination because it brings out the funky cheese flavor they love so much.

figs and cheese

But what about Brie or Camembert ? In our opinion they’re the same as Mozzarella, in that they’re too simple and provide nothing to contrast the fig. The only thing that would happen is that the cheese would taste extra milky.

As for very salty white cheeses like feta, Halloumi, and queso blanco, these are out of the question because they have an entirely different flavor range.

What meat goes with figs ?

The best meats to pair with figs are prosciutto crudo, bacon, ham, some really nice aged salami like Genoa, saucisson, or any other similar.

Cured, aged meat goes great with figs the same way Parmesan and Fontina go great with figs. They’re salty but have that fermented, aged flavor that is so good you can eat it on its own.

Another option is to go for dark meats. Veal, duck, goose, any game meat, and even mutton are great with figs. Turkey can fit in there too, as they’ve got a deeper, richer flavor but still gravitate towards chicken.

The whole point of adding figs to meat dishes is to cut a little through the richness of the meat. Or in the case of gamey meat or mutton, to cut through the thick flavor and make it more palatable for most folks.

With dark meats we recommend using figs as jam, or a sauce like cranberry sauce. You can also roast whole figs right next to the meat, in the same pan. In the case of turkey, you can use the figs as a stuffing.

We don’t recommend using figs for white meat like chicken or fish, because they can overpower the dish. Figs, compared to dark meat or cured meats, are lighter in flavor.

But when compared to white meat, they’re heavier and can easily become the star of the show.

figs and meat

What spices go with figs ?

Figs have that beautiful honey-like, floral flavor so they will go very well with spices typical for honey and rose. So cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom are all great choices.

Star anise can add a surprising but pleasant turn of flavor, as will green peppercorns. Chili is an option as well, if you’re looking for a sweet and spicy turn.

What herbs go with figs ?

Figs will go great with herbs like mint, rosemary, basil, oregano. We recommend getting all of these in their fresh version, because when they’re dried they lose the punch the need.

What wine goes with figs ?

As figs are a sweet fruit, we recommend going for a sweet dessert wine. If you were to pair them with a dry or semi-dry wine you’d get a bit of an unpleasant surprise.

Figs are sweet, dry wine is definitely not sweet, and if you drink it directly after figs it will taste ever drier.

figs and wine

Of course, if the figs are just an add-in for a cheese platter then choose your wine according to the cheese and meat. Even so, we really recommend you at least give sweet or semi-sweet red wine a try.

If you’re looking at a rose or white we’d only recommend them if the general flavor profile of your dish is light. So something like veal with fig sauce and roast potatoes would need red wine.

But something like mild cheese, just a bit of prosciutto, and some fig jam would pair well with a sweet rose wine.  A sweet white wine would work better if you’re serving a salad with figs, or have a fig-based dessert.

What fruits go with figs ?

Okay, now what kind of fruit can we pair figs with ? Well, let’s take a look at their flavor again. Fruity, with some honey and rose mixed in. Not too tart, more of a mellow flavor but still very sweet.

If you still want the figs to shine through, we recommend you use fruits that are not too tart. So fruit like pears, bananas, yellow apples, coconut, apricots will go great with figs. If you want to add a bit of sharpness throw in a strawberry or kiwi.

We don’t recommend pairing figs with overly sweet, bold flavor like pineapple, mango, papaya or red apple because you’ll drown out the fig.

You may consider adding a bit of honey or maple syrup to any fig-based salad, whether it’s a fruit salad or savory salad.

Read Also:What Cheese Goes With Turkey ?

Bonus: add seeds and nuts to figs !

No matter what you choose to pair with figs, consider adding a few nuts or seeds tot he mix. They can bring a nutty, earthy flavor that makes the combination even better.

Some of the best options are sesame seeds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, and even peanuts if you’re feeling adventurous.

In short, figs go with pretty much anything. They’re in season from late spring to the end of summer, so you’ve got a nice window to look for the best figs out there. Of course, dried figs and fig jam will work very well if you can’t find any fresh figs.

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