We’re sure that, at some point, you have been perusing the fruit aisle of your grocery store and come across some beautiful purple figs that look too delicious to pass up. However, they tend to be a little more expensive than your average fruit. So, before you spend your money, it’s important to know; what do figs taste like?
Figs have a fruity and rich flavor with an almost honey-like sweetness and a berry undertone.
If this is a flavor that sounds appealing to you, then we highly recommend giving figs a try. We promise it will be worth the money.
In this article, we are going to get to know figs a little better and let you know exactly what they taste like.
Let’s dive in.
What are Figs?
Figs are a fruit that grows on trees native to the Mediterranean and western Asia.[*]
The fruits are round bottomed and tear shaped. When they are mature they measure between 3 and 5cm.
Figs start out with green skin that can ripen to a deep purple red color. Inside they are deep red with many small yellow seeds that can be eaten.
Turkey is the world’s largest producer of figs, producing 320 000 tonnes in 2020.
Figs are commonly used in Turkish and Middle Eastern dishes but they have become popular all over the world.
In mythology, figs have become linked to Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and fertility.
What Do Figs Taste Like?
Figs are juicy and sweet, like honey, with a rich berry undertone. [*]
When you cut into a fig you will notice a thicky syrup oozing out of it. This is where the intense sweetness of the fig comes from. The little seeds inside ass a pleasant crunch while the skin is smooth and inoffensive.
Since they are so sweet, figs are often turned to as a processed sugar alternative when you have a sweet tooth craving.
There are many varieties of figs, whose flavors and colors are all slightly different: [*]
- Adriatic- Also known as white figs, they have a pale green yellow skin
- Black Mission– Although not completely black, this species is dark purple and tastes very sweet.
- Brown Turkey– As the name suggests, these figs have a brownish purple skin. They also taste less sweet.
- Calimyrna– They have a greenish yellow skin and a paler pink interior.
- Kadota– These figs have light skin and pale insides with a less sweet flavor compared to the other varieties.
How Can Figs Be Used?
Figs are delicious when eaten fresh and raw. They skin is edible so you just have to wash them and dig right in.
This fruit makes the perfect addition to a healthy breakfast served with honey and yogurt or even spread on toast with mascarpone cheese.
Adding figs to a salad will add a fruity sweetness and a delectably soft texture that goes well with cheeses and nuts.
They are also delicious when cooked. Although figs are very sweet, they can be used in both sweet and savory dishes to add a totally unique depth of flavor.
Figs make incredible dessert ingredients but they can also be their own dessert. We like to roast them with money and serve them with mascarpone.
If you have a fig tree with too many fruit to use at once, you can preserve them. Drying is one of the methods used to preserve figs that results in a very sweet flavor and an even sweeter texture than when they’re fresh.
Fig also make tasty preserves in the form of jam or whole green fig preserve that sits in a thick syrup.
Here are a few dishes that use figs as a prominent ingredient:
- Fig Newtons- United States
- Figgy pudding- United Kingdom
- Fig tart
- Salads, especially those featuring soft cheese like goat’s cheese
- Accompaniment to roast duck- France
- Fig rolls
Health Benefits of Figs
As with most fruit, figs have a number of health benefits as well as tasting delicious.
Here are some of the health benefits of figs:
- Reduce high blood pressure– Helps rebalance potassium levels while fibre flushes out excess sodium
- Improve digestion– High fibre content helps treat constipation and diarrea while the prebiotics improve gut health
- Increase bone density– High levels of potassium and calcium work to increase bone density and prevent osteoporosis
- Contains the following vitamins and minerals: vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium
Now you can dig into a dish of tasty figs knowing that you are pleasing your taste buds and your insides at the same time!
Although some fruits may have a balance of sweet and sour, figs are not one of them.
As we have discussed, figs have a very sweet flavor from the syrupy substance inside them. This is the main flavor though the tiny seeds can taste slightly sour whn you first bite into them.
If you have gone a little overboard and eaten too many figs, you may experience an unpleasant sensation and itchiness in your mouth.
This is caused by an enzyme called ficin. Luckily, these effects are temporary and not harmful.
We don’t recommend eating figs if you have low blood sugar since figs have natural blood sugar-reducing properties.
Now that we have read all that about figs, what have we learned?
- Figs taste sweet with a berry aftertaste.
- Figs can be cooked in both sweet and savory dishes.
- Turkey is the world’s largest producer of figs.
We hope this has piqued your interest in figs and encouraged you to give them a try.