Dried Figs are one of the sweetest of the dried fruits, along with strawberries and apricots. Figs are small sweet fruits that are round with a soft exterior and a creamy jelly-like center full of tiny seeds that add a delicious crunchy texture when eaten. When dried that sweetness takes on an even higher concentration. For this reason dried figs are very popular in sweet cakes, cookies, fruit fillings, and pies.
These Black Mission Figs have a dark purple, almost black, exterior and a bright pink seed-filled interior. It is OK to eat fig seeds because they are very tiny and add a satisfying crunch to the fig’s texture. They have a sweet, even, creamy taste.
The simplest way to prepare black dried figs (other than serving them alone as a healthy bite-sized snack) is to coat them in chocolate, or mash them with spices and a hint of fruit juice and bake them as tart or cookie fillings.
Because figs are popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern diets they blend well with foods like olives, feta, blue cheese, goat cheese, parmesan cheese, almonds, red wine, salad fixings, yogurt, warm grains, oatmeal, rice, duck, prosciutto, and other fruits. The sweet sometimes nutty fig flavor is complimented by honey, pepper, cumin, toasted sesame, basil, and a variety of other spices.
Figs are one of the oldest cultivated fruits, originating in the Middle East and quickly spreading to the corners of the known world because of their ease of cultivation and robust harvests. The fig tree is a hearty plant that can grow in arid conditions, and is easily spread by planting clippings from a parent tree. Fig trees and figs became extremely popular in Rome, Greece, and Egypt. There are many varieties of figs including Black Mission, Calimyrna, Kadota, Adriatic, and many others. Fig flavors vary from sweet and fruity bright flavors to caramel toffee warm flavors.
Dried figs have a shelf life of one month, but will last up to one year if refrigerated.
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