Tricks & Tips

Prepping figs – everything you need to know about these ancient fruits

If you’ve spotted Pasta Curiosita on our new Specials menu, you will have seen that we’ve paired Roquefort with figs. Today we take a closer look at these juicy, purple fruits.

Figs – the world’s oldest fruits

Fig trees have been grown since ancient times, which is why figs are often referred to as the oldest fruits known to man. They were an important source of nutrition and featured in dishes across the Mediterranean, one of the world’s biggest cultivation regions alongside Brazil and California. Nowadays, they’re widely imported meaning we can enjoy them all year round.

More than just purple

There are over 150 varieties of fig in a range of colours and shapes. The “Pastilière” and “Brown Turkey” types can be dark purple to black or shiny brown, whereas “Long Yellows” and “LSU Gold” are yellow or green. Supermarkets usually stock blackish violet or green fruits with a delicate white film covering the skin.  

Prepping figs – to peel or not to peel

To enjoy the figs at their purest all you need is a knife, a spoon and a fresh fruit. You can tell how ripe figs are by gently squeezing them. If it yields slightly and smells sweet, it’s ready to eat. Cut the fruit in half like a kiwi and spoon out the flesh. The tiny seeds are edible and so is the skin. Just make sure you’ve given the fruit a good wash and removed the white film first. As figs are extremely delicate, try to buy them fresh and eat them as soon as possible.

Pairing figs with other ingredients

Dried figs taste a lot sweeter than fresh figs and are perfect for topping your morning muesli or porridge. They also taste delicious in colourful fruit salads, muffins or cakes. But figs cut a fine figure in savoury dishes too. Create a simple starter by melting goat’s cheese or mozzarella over slices of fig in the oven. Lamb, game and fish are often combined with fig, as are aubergines and fennel.

The world’s oldest fruit clearly has a few new tricks up its sleeve. Let us know how you use figs.

Tempted to try out figs? Head to Vapiano to sample our Pasta Curiosita!