Black Mission Figs have a delicate, purple-black skin that conceals a dark pink flesh. Figs are known to be sweeter than honey if eaten at the proper ripeness. Loaded with antioxidants and vitamins, the fig has always been a part of a healthy Mediterranean diet. Black Mission Figs are an incredibly versatile fruit which are terrific in both sweet and savory dishes with meat, perfect for jellies and jams, and great for healthy, on-the-go snacking.
A Brief History
The earliest evidence of fig fruit cultivation dates back to 5000 B.C. The fig is believed to have originated in western Asia and then spread throughout the Mediterranean during ancient times. The Roman Empire boasted 29 different varieties. Figs reached the United States via the founding of Spanish missions in California in 1769. From these first plantings came the “Mission” fig, the ancestor to most contemporary varieties. They were first introduced to the New World through Mexico in 1560 and then to California in 1769. It is one of the few fruits that can be grown in all fifty states and there are a multitude of varieties suitable to each growing region.
How to Select:
When selecting a Black Mission Fig, choose one deep purple in color. They should be on the slightly firmer side and will ripen in a few days. If you would like to eat it immediately, select a fig that is slightly soft.
How to Store:
Black Mission Figs store well in the refrigerator up to five to seven days. Figs can also be frozen with excellent results; due to their high sugar content, figs will not freeze solidly. Just place figs in a sealed bag and freeze up to 6 months.
How to Prepare:
Wash all produce under cool water before using. Black Missions Figs are delicious all by themselves. Their sweetness pairs well with cheeses like Blue Cheese or Gorgonzola, dried meats like prosciutto, and sauces with a balsamic base. For an easy appetizer, slice figs and add goat cheese on top, you can even wrap them in prosciutto.
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