February 5, 2021 by D.Fathia
Updated February 5, 2021
Eating fresh figs
Eating fresh figs is one of the few joyful things to wait for eagerly during the summer season. Figs are fruits like no other; they are super sweet and mouthwatering. My family owns several fig trees and I grew up enjoying their delicious heavenly fruits.
As children, we go running to these trees to pick a handful of figs under the scorching summer sun, in one of the hottest areas in the south of Tunisia. We grew up, but the taste of raw figs with tiny golden seeds as if pouring honey on our tongues still lives with us.
The one thing that has changed since then is that we learned to innovate with our fruits and use them in an unexpectedly wide range of recipes.
Today I would like to share with you some of the joy of my childhood and the secrets of my kitchen. Join me to know more about some of the best-tasting figs.
Types of fig trees in Tunisia:
Ficus carica is highly adaptable to the Mediterranean climate. Tunisian soil and climate offer huge potential for this species. Unfortunately, the cultivation of figs remain predominantly traditional and for local consumption.
The good news is that most families have a habit of planting their fig trees for personal use. In our lands, we cultivated different types and numerous fig trees to make sure that all family and friends can enjoy the seductive taste of this fruit.
Some of the varieties widely cultivated in Tunisia include the following:
- Soltani: characterized by its big to medium size, brown color, and red pulp.
- Bither Abyath: despite the label which means white, it is actually green and has a light white to a golden pulp. It yields fruits twice a year.
- Bither Aswad: yields fruits twice during the summer. It is dark brown with red pulp.
- Baghali: big to medium size, wrinkled from the outside, and has pink pulp.
- Zidi: big size, dark black color, and golden pulp.
- Goutti: light green color.
- Bjaoui:super sweet taste, light red color.
- Bouhouli: the namesake of a traditional Tunisian gown; black color, red pulp, and extremely sweet.
- Kahli / sawoudi: sweet taste, red pulp, and black skin.
- Kadhouri: light green color.
- Khedhri: long shaped reddish fruits.
It might be a matter of personal taste and subjective judgment, yet the best tasting figs are Bither, both white and black varieties, Bouhouli, Zidi, and Sawoudi. Still all varieties and many more are delicious fruits and a blessing to enjoy during hot summer days.
The art of eating fresh figs unlike any fruit
Raw figs can be eaten straight from the tree; they are considered to be sweeter without washing. Most fig types have very soft skin, yet even those with a bit thick skin can be consumed without peeling off their skins. You should be cautious, though, the skin sometimes can slightly burn the tongue, especially when they are not fully ripened.
Of course, the eternal favorite way of eating fresh figs is having them as dessert. Personally, I still favor my old habit which I actually took from my family. One of the reasons to wake u early during summer, though we have no school, is to enjoy a cold, mouthwatering super sweet plate of morning picked fresh figs.
The pleasure and sensation you get from these fruits are incredible. One such plate used to be our favorite breakfast, and it is still the best. Figs are highly nutritious that you do not need to have anything else on breakfast.
One way to enjoy fresh figs with other flavors is to prepare a fruit salad. There have never been any restricting rules in preparing fruit salads; you can mix any fruits you like, while figs would definitely add taste beyond imagination.
Fresh figs unfortunately quickly deteriorate; one of the best ways to preserve this gift for longer periods is to turn it into jams. These fruits do make excellent organic jam for morning dishes or sweet snacks during the day.
Figs can make delicious tarts and pies. You can use your regular pie recipe and simply add fresh sliced figs. It is a definite improvement, trust me!
One more way to serve your figs is as an appetizer. Try the roasted summer fruits recipe and indulge in overwhelming pleasure. Roast your fruits with sugar and drops of olive oil in the oven for about ten minutes; at the same time prepare your cream fresh, cheese, and vanilla sauce. Put the fruits on a plate, pour the sauce in small bowls alongside the fruits dish, and finally drizzle some honey.
There is not one single way of eating fresh figs; the paths are as numerous as the number of consumers. It is up to you to decide on how to treat yourself with the best-tasting figs.