Figs are the fruit of the ficus tree, which is part of the mulberry family (Moraceae). Figs have a unique, sweet taste, soft and chewy texture and are littered with slightly crunchy, edible seeds. Fresh figs are delicate and perishable, so are often dried to preserve. This produces a sweet and nutritious dried fruit that can be enjoyed all year round. There are multiple different varieties of fig, all of which vary widely in colour and texture. Their unique feature is a little bud-like opening called an ostiole at the top that helps the fruit develop. Their natural sweetness meant that, before the days of refined sugars, they were often used as a sweetener.
Figs are high in natural sugars, minerals and soluble fibre. Figs are rich in minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper and are a good source of antioxidant vitamins A, E and K that contribute to health and wellness.
Fresh figs are usually available most of the year. When buying fresh figs, look for uniform, ready ones that are soft, emitting sweet, pleasant aroma. Fig fruit perishes rather very quickly and should be eaten while fresh or else should be placed inside the refrigerator where it stays fresh longer.
To eat fresh, wash them in cold water, mop them dry gently using soft cloth or tissue. Figs can be eaten whole, or peeled. If taken out from the cold storage, place in a bowl of water to bring them back to normal room temperature which enriches their taste and flavour.
A typical 100g portion of figs contain, 19.9g carbohydrate, 0.3g fat, 2.9g fibre and 74 calories.