This is always a favorite time of the year for me because of the dried figs you can find in the grocery stores.
My favorites are the Calimyrna figs from Greece. When I was little, they always came on a rope in an oblong-shaped package wrapped in cellophane. They still come in the oblong shape, but are no longer strung on a rope. Unfortunately, quantities are limited, and if you don’t see them in mid to late November and grab a couple of packages, you are out of luck. Packaged dried figs are now available year round and are mostly from California. Yes, I eat them too, but they just don’t have the same flavor as the Greek ones. The black mission figs are OK, and my husband love fresh figs during the summer, although to me they are pretty insipid.
There are many varieties of figs, each with their own characteristics. Parts of the plants cause irritation to the human skin, but the fruit so tasty. Figs are native to the Middle East and western Asia, and now are grown all over the world. Known records date them as far back as 9400 B.C. Cooking with figs offers a multitude of choices. Jam, filling for cookies and cakes, in salads, fruit salad dressings, and marinades. To learn more about the history of this fascinating fruit, just type “dried figs” into your favorite search engine and read away.
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