Last Updated : Jun 01,2018

Figs Glossary | Recipes with Figs |
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Also Known as
Fresh anjeer

Fresh figs are lusciously sweet with a texture that combines the chewiness of their flesh, the smoothness of their skin, and the crunchiness of their seeds. They are available in varied colours and textures. Ripe figs are soft and tasty, and fit to be eaten as it is or to be added to fruit salads. Raw figs are tart but make a tasty addition to spicy curries.

Figs grow on the Ficus tree, which is a member of the Mulberry family. They are unique in that they have an opening, called the ‘ostiole’ or ‘eye’, which is not connected to the tree, but which helps the fruit's development by increasing its communication with the environment.

Chopped figs
Peel the figs, if you prefer to. Cut off the stem. Slice into half. Place each half on a chopping board, and cut roughly into cubes. Figs are generally cut into larger pieces, because they are mushy and tend to become soggy if chopped too finely.

Fig cubes
Peel the figs, if you prefer to. Cut off the stem. Place on a chopping board, and cut vertically into quarters from the center. Line up the quarters and cut them into small or large sized cubes depending on the recipe requirement. Figs are generally cut into larger pieces, because they are mushy and tend to become soggy if chopped too finely.
Sliced figs
Peel the figs, if you would like. Then, cut off the stem. Slice using a sharp knife by cutting vertically across the cutting board. Slice them thinly or thickly as per the recipe requirement.

How to Select
• Figs do not ripen well in the fruit basket. So, they must be picked ripe from the trees. When buying too, choose figs that are ripe. They should be soft yet slightly firm, yielding when pressed.
• Ripe figs have a very short shelf life, and must be used within a few days of purchase. So, buy in small batches.
• Select figs that are clean and dry, with smooth, unbroken skin.
• Use your nose. Smell the fruit. If it smells slightly sour, it has already begun to ferment. Avoid buying such fruits.
• When figs get beyond their prime, they begin to collapse inward and lose their round shape. So, keep an eye on the shape too.

Culinary Uses
• Before eating or cooking figs, wash them under cool water, gently remove the stem, and pat dry.
• Add fresh figs to your porridges and salads.
• Poach figs in juice or red wine and serve with yogurt or frozen desserts.
• Make a salad of quartered figs and garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese.
• Fresh figs stuffed with goat cheese and chopped almonds make a delectable dessert.

How to Store
• It is important to keep fresh figs cold to slow deterioration.
• Use them immediately or store in a plastic bag in the coldest part of your refrigerator for up to two days.
• Figs can be frozen whole, sliced or peeled in a sealed container for ten to twelve months.
• Canned figs will be good for a year in your pantry.
• Remainders of canned figs can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for a week.

Health Benefits
• Potassium, found in abundance in figs, helps to control high blood pressure.
• Figs are a good source of dietary fibre, making them a good weight loss tool.
• Their fibre content also makes them good for bowel management. Four to five figs consumed in the evening or night eases bowel movements the next morning. It is good for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) also.
• Figs have also been shown to lower triglycerides.
• They are also good for those with diabetes, as they keep blood sugar levels in check.
• An excellent fruit source of calcium, figs can help improve bone density too.

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