There are a few things about fresh figs that I find irresistible. Their brief appearance in the produce section during late June and July brings out a certain greed in me; I need to make the most of their perfect, summer moment, or it will be gone.
Also, and this really does need to be said, they are the most, um, sexy fruit that I can think of. I mean, cut into a ripe fig and examine the dewy, rosy-red flesh hidden inside like a gift from Victoria’s Secret, and tell me if that doesn’t define the term food porn for you.
The other thing about figs is that, like many things, they don’t ship well. So, unless you happen to live on a Mediterranean island or some other, more local paradise such as California, you probably won’t get your hands on a truly ripe fig.
Living in the Midwest means that I frequently encounter unripe, mealy and totally unremarkable figs. To rock your world, a great fig should be plump, heavy for its size, and have a small drop of sticky juice clinging to its bottom. ( I told you it was sexy). The fruit inside should be a pretty pinkish-brownish color, and it will taste delicately sweet, sweet, sweet.
The figs I found the other day weren’t perfect; but that was okay. I sliced each of them open like a flower, stuffed them with a little fresh goat cheese and chopped hazelnuts, and drizzled them with honey. Very grown up, and very delicious.