What To Look Out For When Picking The Freshest Figs

With seasonal appearances of fresh figs in markets, a certain level of apprehension is understandable. Upon approaching a batch of juicy fruity orbs, a variety in colors and shapes can at first seem confusing when you're simply trying to select a handful of figs to enjoy at home. You've seen dried figs in packages, but what to make of these fresh, plump fruits?

Look for fruits that are rich in deep color and full in shape. Although there are a few varieties that remain green or brown when ripe, the most common types ripen to purple. The luscious treats should feel like a soft balloon that could pop at any moment beneath your fingertips and give way easily to your touch. If a fig feels firm or displays picture-perfect smooth and shiny skin, you may want to keep searching for riper ones. As a fig matures, the color becomes deeper, turning from green right through to a dark purple shade. Since softer figs offer a juicier filling and better sun-kissed sweet flavor, buy accordingly if you're hoping to snack on it or use your purchase on the same day.

Time your fig purchases to suit your recipes

If you don't plan on using fresh figs for a day or so, you can look for slightly lighter-hued fruits that will ripen at home. Simply leave the less-than-ready fruits in a room-temperature environment. Once a fig is at its prime, it will feel delicate to touch, and you'll notice subtle indentations on the exterior. Though these wrinkly pieces may not be as beautiful to look at, the juicy jammy deep-coloured insides of these fruits will offer delicious sweetness to add to summery fig salads. They also taste great in our simple fig and balsamic chicken recipe. 

Should you find ripe figs on your countertop that you're not ready to eat, stash them in your refrigerator beneath a thin towel or get started on baking a cast iron fig cornbread that you can serve alongside your next meal. Once you have fresh figs at your culinary disposal, there is no end to the number of fig recipes you can whip up in your kitchen.