Removing Fig Latex
I have a recipe which calls for under ripe figs. Under ripe figs exude quite a it of latex when picked.
The recipe calls for the figs to be covered with boiling water for 10 minutes before adding them to poaching liquid.
I used a stainless steel bowl for the soak and it now has smears of latex which are proving very stubborn to remove. So far I washed normally, scrubbed with Bon Ami, sprayed/soaked with Citrasolve (?). Very little of the latex has been removed, although it has decreased in stickiness.
I made a recipe using green figs a few days ago, soaked the scummy pots for a day and a half (in just cold water, but hot would probably do even better) and then had at them with baking soda and a metal scrubby. Worked like a charm, first time around. Just in case that might be useful info for someone else in the future.
Thanks to you both!
Not having nail polish remover I moved to plan B - baking soda*. It helped but not enough. Next I laid ammonia soaked sheets of paper toweling against the walls of the bowl and left it outdoors for 4 hours. Better, but still not quite enough. Added baking soda along with the scrubby and it did the trick!
I then used the ammonia and baking soda, skipping the soak, on my slotted spoon, colander and cook pot and the latex came off easily!
Interestingly I have made this recipe without problem in the past. This is the first time I used under ripe fruit from this particular tree. I think it must just produce a stickier variety than the other trees I harvest from.
Hopefully today's little diversion will prove helpful for someone else in the future!
*I recall older cookbooks ('20's & '30's) sometimes calling for soaking figs in hot water with baking soda before beginning the recipe. None of them ever explained what this step was for, but I tried it a few times and noticed it did seem little droplets of latex lifted away easily without tearing the fig skin.