Currently in season – our harvest of figs this year has been particularly bountiful!
Figs with port, a sublime combination
Our figs were used in our recent servings of ‘Fricassée of Chicken with Figs and Port Sauce (an adaptation taken from Roger Verge’s ‘Entertaining in the French Style’).
The luxury of a luscious ripe fig is extraordinary. The soft and yielding fruit is full of seeds, but the seeds are so small they just add to the unique texture that makes fresh figs so sought after. Most varieties are intensely sweet, so they get used in desserts. That works, of course, but I also like to use that honey-like sweetness to cut sharper savory flavors.
Figs are fragile. Rare is the fig picker who finds perfect, unmarred fresh figs. Slightly wrinkled (but still plump) and even split figs (as long as they are not weeping or leaking), are what you want. A bit of bend at the stem and a slight weariness to the skin both indicate better ripeness and flavor that taunt, shiny skins, and stems that look like they’re still grasping for the tree.