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Fruits and Nuts: When are figs ready to eat and how do you eat them?

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evesocal
Granada Hills, CA
(Zone 10b)

May 27, 2008
1:32 PM

Post #5009450

I have a fig tree. It came with my house and I'm happy to have it but I feel very dumb because I don't know how to tell when the figs are ripe and what to do with them. Right now it has a lot of fat green figs. There are some brown figs on the ground. As the summer goes on there will be lots and lots of brown figs on the ground.

What signifies a fig that is ready to eat? And, what do I do with it?? Cut off the skin and eat it as is, or what?

Thank you for your help and patience!

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 27, 2008
1:38 PM

Post #5009472

When the figs turn dark, but before they fall, is the best time to eat. Someone else may have a more professional description... I use most of my figs for making jam. They are also good fresh, just off the tree. The skin is edible--it would be VERY messy to try to peel.
bettydee
La Grange, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 28, 2008
12:11 AM

Post #5012135

Since not all figs mature to a dark color, the figs, which grow upward from the branch, will droop down below that level. There is a change of color from the unripen condition. When you lift the fig up from its drooping position, it should come off easily.
Recipes for using fresh figs:
http://www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-0,fresh_figs,FF.html
http://www.inmamaskitchen.com/FOOD_IS_ART_II/food_history_and_facts/fig_walk.html
http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/articles/summer-fig-desserts.aspx
oldude
New Iberia, LA

May 28, 2008
1:57 AM

Post #5012719

For fresh eating right off of the tree, I always look for those figs that have just started to split. To me, that is when they are at peak ripeness.
Oldude
jtwig
Davis, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 28, 2008
2:48 AM

Post #5013214

Fig jam is great! Or dried figs (so great because of the mass abundance of figs at fig season, just slice them twice in the shape of an X not all the way through and throw them on the drying rack... or if you have a food dehydrater... great for winter), or fig chutney. A friend made some sort of fig pasta dish which was super delicious... but Fresh Fresh Fresh!

Enjoy!
evesocal
Granada Hills, CA
(Zone 10b)

May 28, 2008
1:41 PM

Post #5014637

Thank you so much for the advice!! I hate to see those nice figs go to waste.
ByndeweedBeth
scio, oregon, OR
(Zone 8a)

May 28, 2008
5:17 PM

Post #5015641

me too, send them to me! LOL
AYankeeCat
Fairfield County, CT
(Zone 6b)

May 30, 2008
2:46 AM

Post #5023875

I peel my figs before I eat them - but I will try eating the skin next time.
Sendone2me
Orlando, FL

June 2, 2008
2:54 PM

Post #5040528

My mom has many fig trees and some get ripe sooner than others . Figs are ripe when they are dark or blueish and are soft. I think the softer they are the riper. She makes fig preserves also but if you want them to taste like strawberry preserves put some strawberry jello in them and they taste really good . Fran
LisaLu
Wildomar, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 4, 2008
2:25 AM

Post #5049318

I too am awaiting my figs, this is my first tree...I love the leaves!
Here is one of my favorite appitizers...
Wrap extra thin sliced brochuetto (spelling?) with a fresh basil leaf and a thin slice of fresh fig, roll it up and insert a toothpick! Super simple to make and it's a flavor explosion. The saltiness of the ham, the spice of the basil, and the sweetness of the fig, it's wonderful. I first had these in Napa Valley while wine tasting!
I would love to get a receipe for fig jam! I love to "can". I just put up 12 dozen pints of strawberry and boysenberry jam. I'm waiting for the blackberries to ripen, they're next!
Let me know if you like the fig roll ups!
Sendone2me
Orlando, FL

June 4, 2008
1:46 PM

Post #5051306

Lizalou,
I only have one fig on my tree!!!LOL crazy I know. My mother lives in miss. I have a recipe somewhere for the fig preserves. I will look for it later. Fran
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

June 5, 2008
6:11 PM

Post #5058336

When ripe, hold by stem, place other end to lips, suck out insides. Use fingernail to remove skin on mouth end,. Repeat many times.
jujubetexas
San Marcos, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 6, 2008
10:03 PM

Post #5064682

i wait till they start to soften before I pick them. I eat them whole but watch out for the white stuff that comes out of the stem. Yuuuuuuuch! You will regret putting any of that in your mouth.

trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

June 6, 2008
10:36 PM

Post #5064803

That is why to hold the stem. The white juice is truly awful.
2ndChance
Tempe, AZ
(Zone 9b)

June 9, 2008
1:44 PM

Post #5076072

The white "juice" is latex - avoid getting it on any mucus membrane. Techincal term is "drop" that means the stem of the fruit bends down, but is still attached to the tree. Some figs remain green, so you really need to look for the drop. Eat whole off the tree with the skin. Great for diabetics.
Sendone2me
Orlando, FL

June 9, 2008
5:54 PM

Post #5077452

Here is the recipe I have for Fig Preserves,

Wash and cut stems off. Put a layer of figs in a pot an d cover with syrup. then add another layer of figs and sugar
till
you run out of figs or pot. cover and let stand overnight .. cook slowly for 2 to three hrs until the juice turns to syrup.
As I said before my mom uses strawberry Jello to put a strawberry flavor into the syrup which in turns makes them taste like strawberry preserves. They are very good that way.
Fran
Illoquin
Indianapolis, IN
(Zone 5b)

June 9, 2008
6:03 PM

Post #5077491

I once went to a fancy restaurant in the California wine country and the dessert I ordered was a brioche or cream puff-thing (the shell) filled with ice cream with fig sauce on top. I swear it was the best dessert I have ever had before or since. No recipe, but you could use the recipe for preserves or jam and go from there. If the cream puff shell is too much trouble, make it easy and use something else...even those little sponge cakes they sell for strawberry short cakes would work.

Suzy
Pamgarden
Central, VA
(Zone 7b)

June 9, 2008
6:43 PM

Post #5077749

We had a wonderful fig tree in FL, a Brown Turkey. They don't have any of the latex. Fresh figs are positively luscious. I don't think anyone mentioned figs stuffed with goat cheese and a half walnut--the sweetness of the fig, the creamy, slightly-salty goat cheese, and the earthy crunchy walnut. Sometimes I sprinkle a little bit of Chinese Five Spice on it and sometimes not.

I also like to make a quick and easy tart with figs, using one of those rolled up refrigerated pie rounds from Pillsbury. I have a two piece tart pan that allows the side to be removed from the bottom, leaving the tart with a crimped edge. Sometimes I place everything in the pan carefully, overlapping fruits so that it's very decorative. Other times I don't even bother with the tart pan, but just use one of the pie rounds and sprinkle everything in and overlap the pie crust a little all around the top to keep everything inside. Then place on a cookie or pizza tin. Use whatever fresh fruits are available, such as figs with peaches, blueberries, raspberries, apricots, with whatever else slivered almonds, walnuts, pinenuts, cranberries, raisins. Sometimes I use cinnamon and sugar and/or Chinese Five Spice, sometimes apricot jam for shine. No tart or pie is ever the same. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Serve at room temperature with creme fresh, whipped cream or ice cream.
LisaLu
Wildomar, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 13, 2008
6:27 PM

Post #5098997

Fran:
Do you layer with Maple Syrup or Corn Syrup?
How do you strain the fig meat from the thick syrup?
Do you keep the syrup in the frig or do you put it up in mason jars and can?
It sounds absoultly wonderful, thanks for sharing, I can't wait until ours are ripe!
LisaLu
Sendone2me
Orlando, FL

June 16, 2008
6:46 PM

Post #5112483

Lisa lou,
I havnt made any of the preserves. My mother does. I will write to her and ask again for that recipe as it dont sound right to me. She also just puts the figs in the refrig and freezes them. wash and freeze in a freezer bad or plastic boxes.Fran

pbyrley

pbyrley
Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

June 16, 2008
9:25 PM

Post #5113119

I always wait until the fig stops feeling hard before picking. As someone above said, often, you will see splits in the skin (very shallow, not to worry) and that also means pick, eat and enjoy. My black Lab Pepper loves figs. She can tell if they are ripe and picks her own. I leave low branches for her pleasure. The tree in the photo is a Black Mission fig which I took good care of in winter.

EveSocal, I recommend you buy a Black Mission fig to go with your green (Calimyra, I think) fig. The Black Mission figs are just made for SoCAL as their name suggests.

Paul

Thumbnail by pbyrley
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ByndeweedBeth
scio, oregon, OR
(Zone 8a)

June 16, 2008
9:28 PM

Post #5113130

I love the green ones that are full of crunchy seeds. Do the black mission ones have seeds? I don't think they grow here. The one's I have are Desert King, Peter's Honey and Lattarula.
Sendone2me
Orlando, FL

June 18, 2008
1:57 PM

Post #5121980

Darn the only fig I had on my small tree disappeared. Guess one of the birds too it . boohoo. Well,, maybe next yr. Fran

flyboyFL

flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

June 18, 2008
5:55 PM

Post #5123205

This is a cluster on my "white" fig tree. The variety was named by my neighbor who started me off with a cutting. He brought the original over from Greece, wrapped in a blanket. These are just "golf-ball" sized, now.

They are ready to eat when the stem droops -- and the skin is soft.

Trois is right. Hold the stem -- bite the end and and just munch it in. They are delicious.

They are also a good supply of calcium.

Be well -- and you will be, if you eat them

: )

Thumbnail by flyboyFL
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sendone2me
Orlando, FL

June 19, 2008
12:36 AM

Post #5125072

Flyboy,
How about a cutting from your fig? Could you give me some information on how to make them grow faster here in Fla?
More water or less water. I used to have some of I think Turkey figs bought them at K-mart about 10 yrs ago and I tried to grow them . They grew all right but the figs dropped off when they were about the size of my thumb. Do figs need a lot of fertilizer? I think the kind I have is the mercerdo or spelled sort like that . My mother gave me the plant by pulling the branch down and rooting it like that. Its not growing very well. They get very big at her home in Miss and ripen before the other variety that I dont know what it is either but these she gave me are really big and kind of purpulish. and get ripe in May. Fran

flyboyFL

flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

June 19, 2008
3:22 PM

Post #5127564

This tree grows yellowish-green fruit. Very sweet, The "breba' crop is minute -- just a few fruit. Bu then it takes off. I water it when the topsoil gets bone-dry. Nothing exotic with fertilizer -- but I do feed it twice year with some pelletized dolomite limestone. (Figs are a big source of calcium.) I grow them espaliered against my southwest wall.

Who knows, maybe I've been lucky.

: )
ByndeweedBeth
scio, oregon, OR
(Zone 8a)

June 19, 2008
3:45 PM

Post #5127692

Here is one of my Peter's Honey figs. It's not ready to pick yet, it takes all summer to get enough heat to ripen them.

Thumbnail by ByndeweedBeth
Click the image for an enlarged view.

flyboyFL

flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

June 19, 2008
11:42 PM

Post #5129963

Lucky. The late afternoon sun just lit up this little "white" beauty, hidden in the foliage.

Yummmmmmmmmm...

: )

Thumbnail by flyboyFL
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sendone2me
Orlando, FL

June 20, 2008
1:57 PM

Post #5132504

LisaLu,
I am not sure how my mother makes the preserves but she cans them for sure in mason jars. I will write her and ask how she makes them again. Fran
I had that recipe copied down but it does sound weird.dont it? Fran

flyboyFL

flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

June 21, 2008
4:25 PM

Post #5137843

It's getting bigger and bigger.

Hope my neighbors don't let me down -- eating them, that is.

:)

Thumbnail by flyboyFL
Click the image for an enlarged view.

trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

June 21, 2008
4:35 PM

Post #5137880

The squirrels are eating mine before they are ready for me.

flyboyFL

flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

June 21, 2008
6:55 PM

Post #5138401

So far I seem to be keeping the squirrel population under control. So far. So far.

:)

pbyrley

pbyrley
Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

June 22, 2008
9:21 PM

Post #5143715

Flyboy, that looks like a really great fig, maybe you should patent it. I would love to have a cutting but I really think you should hold them "close to your vest" and sell little rootlings next year with that photo of the fig and the dime as a trademark. I would buy one my self for sure ($10 + shipping). I expect that it would be a pot only fig for my Zone 7B but that would be ok for me.

flyboyFL

flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

June 23, 2008
12:17 AM

Post #5144306

Thanks -- but I couldn't afford the taxes -- and the recriminations if they didn't flourish.

I tried overwintering a couple of other figs back in New Jersey the last two winters -- and they survived. Not very prolific -- but they do produce. They are the Celeste variety.

Be well

:)

pbyrley

pbyrley
Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

June 23, 2008
1:07 PM

Post #5146330

Thanks flyboyFl,
I have Celeste (and 4 other var.) but your fig seemed so large! I guess its the good Longboat Key weather. I'll give my Celeste an extra dose of compost, out farther from the trunk and see if that helps. Our breva crop got frosted off this year so I'll only get main, but "Wait til next year!" (as the Gators used to have to say).
Paul

flyboyFL

flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

June 23, 2008
1:46 PM

Post #5146499

Paul:

Don't forget the pelletized dolomite limestone.

Be well

:)

flyboyFL

flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

September 23, 2008
7:14 PM

Post #5589794

These are READY TO EAT.

Picked them this morning.

(That coin on top is a quarter.)

Thumbnail by flyboyFL
Click the image for an enlarged view.

pbyrley

pbyrley
Port St Lucie (+ Wk , FL
(Zone 9b)

September 25, 2008
2:03 AM

Post #5595909

flyboy, Those are fantastic- how bout meeting me at the N. end of New Pass bridge and give me a cutting? I'll be passing Sarasota on Dec. 7th after fishing in Ft. Myers.
Paul

flyboyFL

flyboyFL
Longboat Key, FL

September 25, 2008
5:02 PM

Post #5598241

We're down at the south end of the key, closer to Fort Myers.

Call me when you are really coming.

Be well

:)

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