It is the peak of the season for Brown Turkish Figs, having purchased them twice at Jason’s, Tanglin Mall, Singapore at the excellent price, relative to quality and distance they need to travel, of S$4.50 for a packet of 4 large figs.
Yes, there are some food miles on them, but that is something we simply have to live with when you’re located in the centre of the planet.
Figs have been eaten by humans since the beginning of time and one of the first plants cultivated by man as far back to circa 9400–9200 BC with evidence found in the early Neothilic village, Gilgal I in the Jordan Valley, north of Jericho.
They are known as one of the highest plant sources of calcium and fibre, and like grapes are good source of flavanoids, polyphenols and antioxidants, all good for the pipes and ticker. Speaking of pipes, they are equally known for their laxative effect!
I’m sure it does not take much imagination to picture the ancient civilizations enjoying sweet, juicy ripe figs as much as we do today. They have so many wonderful uses in salads, with cheese and fruit platters, accompanying cold meat cuts, in desserts, with a myriad of recipes to be had.
Turkish Browns are actually purplish-brown in colour and quite large with plenty of red/orange flesh and seeds, and generally best eaten fresh. They ripen quickly and only keep for 2 or 3 days in the fridge however, overripe figs are excellent in one of my favourite desserts from Patricia Wells, “Baked Fruit & Honey with Beaumes de Venise” from her brilliant book “At Home in Provence” www.patriciawells.com
The recipe calls for mixed fruits such as peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, blueberries, raspberries as well as figs, however I tend to adapt to what fruit is in season or available here. (I will detail the recipe shortly, as running out of time at the minute).
Meanwhile, I have also substituted Beaumes di Venise, which you will need both for the recipe and to consume with dessert, with the perfect fig wig, Mount Horrocks Cordon Cut Riesling, which was served to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II at her official 80th Birthday luncheon. Read all about it… http://www.thewanderingpalate.com/profiled-wineries/fit-for-a-queen/
Moreover it was my Must-Have Wines Best of the Lunar Drinking Year Tiger – 2010 Best Sweet Wine of the Year
Mount Horrocks Cordon Cut Riesling 2010 – Clare Valley, South Australia
“Each man under his own vine and fig tree” (1 Kings 4:25)
Quotes and research from Wikipedia.