photo of painting by: Jennifer Howard
It is thought that the fig originated in Northern Asia and was introduced to the Middle East through trade. From the Middle East it then made its way to the Mediterranean, to Crete & Greece and later to other parts of Europe. The first figs in the New World would appear in Mexico around 1560 CE, brought by Spanish missionaries, and later be introduced to California in 1769 with the establishment of the San Diego Mission.
today's varieties of figs are numerous and some of them include the dark-skinned kinds such as the black mission, calimyrna & brown turkey and the green-skinned kind like the adriatic & kadota. whether dark skinned or green skinned or even brown, they are delicious.
did you know .... the fig is really just an inverted flower?
For more information and some recipes, try the California Figs Advisory Board.
for some unbelievable photography & recipes about figs, special mention goes to chika's japanese foodblog — a real find — called she who eats. do check it out...all of it.
and visit here for a more detailed history.
simple & delicious poached figs
12 fresh figs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp orange flower water
preheat oven to 325°F
prick each fig at the bottom several times and stand them in a greased 8 inch baking dish. sprinkle figs with 1/3 cup sugar and then add water.
bake figs in middle of oven & baste twice with its juices until tender, approimately 30 minutes.
transfer figs to a serving dish. on stovetop, add 1/4 cup orange juice and bring to a boil over moderately high heat to reduce it to a syrup. do not overcook. you may add a bit of water if it has reduced too much. add the orange flower water and then pour over figs.
serve figs either warm or at room temperature.
based on a recipe by Diana's Desserts.