Ok, what's with the figs? Fresh figs seem to be the goodie of the moment. I see more fig recipes in the paper, in mags and online than I ever remember seeing.
My husband works at a well-known historic house site, replete with 18th century gardens. He says there is a huge bumper crop of figs this year.
Is there some worldwide explosion of fig production, leading to a plethora of fig recipes?
I just went to a friend's house to water her plants while she's a way and was saddened to see a mass of figs rotting on the ground! If only I'd known. Still the tree had a ton of ripe fruit on it. So you seem to be correct!
I think people are more open to trying new foods. Figs weren't all that common say 10 years ago. What was in supermarkets was $$$$$ ... $$$.
The growth of farmers markets contributed to an increased popularity in figs. They were fresher, less expensive and came in a number of varieties. So many restauramts now a days have farmers market driven menus that people who might not try figs in any other way, will order a dish with fresh figs at their favorite restaurant.
I heard on The Splendid Table that at one time most of the US fig crop went into Fig Newtons. With a decline their popularity growers sought new markets, leading to the increased availability of fresh ones. Faster and better distribution has probably helped, since fresh ones are so perishable.
I finished up the last batch that I purchased by cutting them into quarters, adding some brown sugar syrup, and microwaving them. I served them warm with ice cream. I was inspired by a Spanish recipe that roasted figs with honey.
In South America (Ecuador especially) green figs are simmered for a long time in a syrup (using raw brown sugar and cinnamon), and served cold with fresh cheese. They are called dulce de higos - fig sweets.
It's a short season, and it's now, those little beauties are fragile and don't hold up well for more than a day or two. Try eating them just the way the come, pretty tasty.
My market had Mission Figs -Buy one get one free- so 2 little plastic baskets for $6
I picked them up for a sniff but I put them back down, unsure if we would eat them. I've never played with them before. These were yellow and cute. They also had champagne grapes (tiny, deflated looking grapes of wrath) and enormous grapes that I can't remember the name of- they were BIG and my friend told me that they have seeds, which I dislike because I don't like to spit.