What to look for in farmers’ markets and specialty produce stores: striped tiger figs. Or, buy them from Melissas.com.
The Tiger Fig (also called Tiger Stripe fig and Candy Stripe fig) is prized as one of the most flavorful varieties in the marketplace. It is a light yellow, small to medium, pear-shaped fig with unique dark green stripes and crimson red interior fruit. It was bred in 1668, probably from a mutation.
When fully ripe the fruit has a high sugar content and rich, jam-like texture and consistency. This taste yields a hint of strawberry or raspberry jam.
You can eat it out of hand, dry it or make preserves. But something this special looking deserves to be showcased as a dessert or cheese course.
If the figs are very sweet, you may need only a scant amount of sweetener. You can use the compote as a bread spread and a condiment with sweet or savory foods.
Ingredients For 2/3 Cup
1. REMOVE the stems from cleaned figs and cut into quarters. Place figs, sweetener, water and cinnamon in a small saucepan over low heat.
2. COOK for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in butter.
3. PULSE, using an immersion blender or food processor, until desired consistency is reached. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Figs do not ripen off the tree, so buy those that are soft to the touch. The skin around stem should have begun to twist and wrinkle.
Along with olives and grapes, figs are believed to be among the first fruits cultivated by man. Native to Western Asia (the Middle East and the Near East), Ficus carica has been cultivated for more than 5,000 years.
In order to develop flavor and sweetness, the fruit requires a long, warm season where temperatures regularly exceed 95°F.
Figs, including the turkey fig, are grown in southern California. Turkey leads the world in fig production.
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