01 of 06
Figs—From Adriatics to Kadotas
Fresh figs are remarkably fragile (ripe ones often split even when left completely alone!). For that reason, local figs are often the only fresh figs a person can buy without edging into the world of wilted, semi-spoiled specimens (or just as bad, fruit picked before it's ripe!).
And yet, finding locally grown figs can be tricky outside of California, even though they can be grown anywhere with winter temperatures that don't drop below 20°F (learn more at All About Figs). So good luck, beware... and keep your eyes open for the five most common varieties of figs (listed here) at markets near you.
Already have figs? See these 10 Quick Fig Recipes to make the most of them.Continue to 2 of 6 below.
02 of 06
These pale green to pale yellow figs are sometimes called "white figs" for their light color. I've also seen them sold as "candy-striped figs" when striped like the ones pictured here. They have bright pink to brilliant red insides and an extra-sweet flavor.
Adriatic figs are harvested in June and again in August. Their super sweet natures mean they work particularly well as a simple fruit dessert all on their own.
Continue to 3 of 6 below.
03 of 06
Black Mission Figs
Black Mission figs are extremely sweet (sometimes they even ooze a bit of syrup) and thus are perfect for serving plain or with yogurt or tangy fresh cheese (such as mascarpone, Fromage blanc, or farmers cheese) for dessert. They have blackish-purple skin and dark pink flesh.
Continue to 4 of 6 below.
04 of 06
Brown Turkey Figs
Brown Turkey figs have brownish-dark purple skin, a milder flavor than other figs, and are noticeably less sweet than the similar-looking Black Mission figs. Brown Turkey figs work well in salads or in desserts where a sweetener will be used. If all you have are brown turkeys and you want dessert, you can use them to make Broiled Figs.
Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Calimyrna figs are comparatively large, with slightly golden skin and a pinkish flesh that has a distinctive nutty flavor. All figs have that nuttiness (which is why they're so good with nuts), but these have a stronger sense of nut about them. Plus, with their striking pink insides, Calimyras are gorgeous just cut up and served as-is.
Continue to 6 of 6 below.
06 of 06
Kadota figs have light green skin and are less sweet than other figs. They're good raw (they're fine, really, and if they're the only figs at hand they'll be fabulous!), but take very well to being heated up with something else (I'm thinking Honey-Fried Figs here, if you must know). I've been known to hit them with just the barest amount of salt to bring out their sweetness—it's not for everyone, but for those who like a salty-sweet vibe, it's pretty darn good.