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Jan 23, 2011 06:48 AM

Baby figs in Paris?

We love baby figs. I love regular figs, too, but baby figs are even better. It seems that they all come from Iran, so I cannot buy them in the States. I always get them in Europe. Does anyone know where they are sold in Paris? I do not recall seeing them at the food halls in Bon Marche, etc. the last time I visited. Is there a Middle Eastern market that carries them?

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  1. Why I didn't even know about baby figs.
    In any case, the Iranian shops are along the rue des Entrepreneurs, in the 15e. Nearby there's a wonderfully stocked Lebanese market on avenue Emile-Zola.

    1. I would check with the shop on the southwest stretch of Montorguiel, the one with boxes of fruit and sacks of grain in the front. Or the specialist Au Lac due Van at 6, rue Lamartine in the 9th.

      1. Are these fresh or dried? If fresh you will probably need a very high end fruit shop and then only in season (Bon Marche's exotic fruit counter, or one of the more specialist shops). If dried, then yes a middle eastern shop.

        9 Replies
        1. re: PhilD

          They are dried figs. Each is about the size of a cherry.

          1. re: glutton

            What's wrong with the exquisite fresh ones?

            1. re: Parigi

              Nothing wrong with fresh figs, but I've never seen a fresh baby fig. Surely, they exist and I'd gorge myself if I found them. Until then, dried baby figs will have to suffice.

                1. re: Parigi

                  No trace of fresh baby figs anywhere, at any season, in Paris. Small black figs can sometimes be found at markets in late Summer but they're from Southern France or Spain. Looking at pictures of dried baby figs from Iran they do look like they would be white figs when in their fresh state. I have seen them at times but I never tried them (they look very dry to me, are they really that good? Do you eat them as they are or do you soak them?).

                  If you do not find them on rue des Entrepreneurs (two or three Iranian shops as you walk along from the metro station (Charles-Michels), or at the big Lebanese shop nearby, or at the Turkish shops on rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis (they have Iranian dried fruit sometimes), or at the épicier rue Montorgueil, or rue Lamartine, there's little chance you'll find that in Paris. On the other hand there's good chance you'll find that at the mentioned places.

                  1. re: Ptipois

                    I second ptipois's suggestion in the 15th, I've definitely seen them at the big Lebanese place last summer (and I can't imagine them being seasonal since dried)
                    Les Délices d'Orient
                    52, Av. Emile Zola
                    75015 Paris
                    Tél : 01 45 79 10 00
                    M° : Charles Michels

                    this is a bit unrelated, but does anyone know why fresh figs are commonly black and dried figs are more commonly white?

                    1. re: kerosundae

                      As I wrote previously, the surest way to find them is to go to any Naturalia (several addresses in Paris), they're there.
                      Unfortunately I haven't a clue why the color but it is possible that light-colored varieties lend themselves better to drying.

                      1. re: Ptipois

                        I see those in the Naturalia 30 seconds from chez moi, but could not believe that we were talking about those dry things. Mystyery solved - mostly. :-)

                        1. re: Parigi

                          Seeing them I wondered if they were edible. They look like something 7,000 years old from a sand hole in the Tarim Basin.

        2. How big are they? A baby fig would be very small, and unless it's a different variety than the ones that grow in Europe, or a hybrid, inedidble - we have a fig tree, and the figs are only edible when they grow and get to a certain size

          And are they very dry? Because there are also the "semi-dried" variety that are called "moelleux" here.

          Maybe you should try Izrael in the Marais?

          1 Reply
          1. Go to any Naturalia (a chain of health food stores), they have them. They are called "Figues Zagros" and are imported from Iran. I saw some this evening while shopping there, but did not buy them for they looked too dry.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ptipois

              I'm slow to report back to everyone -- sorry about that. We ended up going to a Naturalia store in Le Marais. They had them, a bit pricier than I'd like, but I bought a few bags nonetheless. They look hard and dry, but they're soft on the inside. They are not gooey soft like many figs in Paris, though. They're just a different animal entirely. Thanks for your help...