Fruit of the Month: Figs
Figs, one of mankind's oldest fruits, is only now receiving its due
attention in homes across the United States. Although considered a fruit, the
fig is actually a flower inverted into itself. They are the only fruit to ripen
on the tree. Originally native from Turkey to northern India, the fig fruit
spread to many of the Mediterranean countries. The primary producers of dried
figs today are the United States, Turkey, Greece, and Spain. This highly
nutritious fruit arrived in the United States by Spanish missionaries settling
in Southern California in 1759. Fig trees were soon planted throughout the
One serving of figs is 40 grams, about 1/4 cup, or about 3 Calimyrna figs or
about 4 to 5 Mission figs. Figs are high in fiber, providing 20% of the Daily
Value - more dietary fiber per serving than any other common dried or fresh
|Serving Size: 40g
|Amounts Per Serving
||% Daily Value
|Calories from Fat
|Total Fat 0g
| Saturated Fat 0g
|Total Carbohydrate 7g
| Dietary Fiber 1g
| Sugars 3g
|* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
There are hundreds of fig varieties but the following are most commonly
found in today's markets.
The Calimyrna Fig: Is known for its nut-like flavor and
golden skin. This type is commonly eaten as is.
The Mission Fig: Was named for the mission fathers who
planted the fruit along the California coast. This fig is a deep purple which
darkens to a rich black when dried.
The Kadota Fig: Is the American version of the original
Italian Dattato fig, that is thick-skinned with a creamy amber color when ripe.
Practically seedless, this fig is often canned and dried.
The Brown Turkey Fig: has copper-colored skin, often with
hints of purple, and white flesh that shades to pink in the center. This
variety is used exclusively for the fresh fig market.
Fig varieties and photos courtesy of the California Fig Advisory Board
Fresh figs are available July through September. Dried figs are never out of
season, and are available all year. You can find them in your favorite grocery
store in the produce or dried fruit section.
Look for figs that are soft and smell sweet. Handle carefully because their
fragile skins bruise easily.
Store fully ripened figs in the refrigerator up to 2 days; bring to room
temperature before serving.