The fig: queen of late summer

by Lucile Tinchant
Figs: salty and sweet ideas

Figs, these fleshy and sweet fruits, are essential delights in baking. Their history dates back to Antiquity, and their use in cooking has continued over the centuries, especially in French pastry. In this article, we invite you to delve into the history of this fruit that prolongs the end of summer, to discover its health benefits, as well as to explore the recipes with figs, classic or more original, which bring out all the flavor of the figs. Get ready for a taste adventure rich in discoveries

1. The history of figs

The fig is currently considered the oldest domesticated fruit: the first figs cultivated by man date back approximately 9400 years and were discovered in the Jordan Valley (bordered by Israel, Jordan and the Palestine) in the Middle East.

The fig tree does not like shade, it needs a warm and sunny location necessary for the ripening of figs. It is therefore natural that today this fruit is mainly grown in Turkey, in the Maghreb countries, in Iran, in Spain or in California.

Virtues of figs

2. The virtues of figs

  • Energy source
  • Excellent source of dietary fiber
  • High nutrient concentration
  • Stimulates transit
  • Promotes cardiovascular health

The fig is a relatively energetic fruit, providing about 70 kcal per 100g portion. It is an important source of carbohydrates, providing energy quickly assimilated by the body.

It is also an excellent source of dietary fibre. These fibers contribute to the regulation of intestinal transit , play a crucial role in the prevention of constipation and help maintain healthy digestive function.

From the point of view of micronutrients, the fig is a veritable mine of vitamins and minerals . It contains in particular group B vitamins, vitamin K and minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. These nutrients are essential for the proper functioning of various biological processes, including bone health, blood clotting, and muscle function.

What also distinguishes the fig are the antioxidants it presents, which help neutralize free radicals in our body and support our immune system.

3. Essential fig-based recipes

  • Fig tart
    Fig tart : Fig tart is a classic pastry that showcases all the sweetness and flavor of figs. A shortbread or puff pastry filled with fresh figs, baked to obtain a melting and delicious texture.
  • Fig jam : Fig jam is a delicious way to preserve the flavor of figs all year round. Accompanied by fresh bread or pastries, it is a treat for breakfast or a snack.
  • Fig clafoutis : Clafoutis is a gourmet and comforting dessert. Fresh figs arranged in a mold, covered with a batter made from eggs, milk, sugar and flour, all baked in the oven to obtain a delicious fig flan.
  • Roasted Figs with Honey and Spices : A simple and delicious recipe that brings out the natural flavor of figs. Figs are halved, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with spices like cinnamon or vanilla, then roasted in the oven for a comforting and fragrant dessert.

4. Original taste associations with figs

  • Fig and cheese
    Figs with goat cheese : A classic combination but always appreciated. Fresh figs are topped with fresh goat cheese, drizzled with honey and crushed walnuts for a gourmet and balanced appetizer.
  • Figs and chocolate : An irresistible combination for lovers of sweets. Figs can be coated with dark chocolate for a gourmet and refined dessert.
  • Fig and arugula salad : A fresh and summery salad, mixing the sweetness of figs with the spicy flavor of arugula and the smoothness of fresh cheese.
  • Foie gras and fig chutney , a perfect combination for a gourmet starter.

Overall, the fig is a fruit that goes wonderfully with all foods and preparations that have a strong taste : nuts, cheeses, or with lamb in tajines; its sweet taste brings a note of sweetness which gives balance to the appetizer.

It's up to you to find the perfect combinations to sublimate the fig in your next savory and sweet creations!