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Fresh Figs: When Are Figs Ripe?

Updated on September 12, 2013

What Does a Ripe Fig Look Like?

When are figs ripe? When do you pick figs?

When is fig season? Don't look at the calendar, look at the figs! The right time to pick fresh figs varies from season to season and in different locations. You need to know the signs to tell if figs are ripe. The LOOK AND FEEL of ripe figs is what tells you if they are ripe.

Read on for a stepwise guide to ripe figs. You will see what color a ripe fig is and how a ripe fig feels to your touch as they mature, so you can tell when to pick them. You will also get updates about the current fig season different places. For example, our figs are starting be to ripe now in N. California.

All images © E. Friedman 2011, all rights reserved, except as noted for other photographer.

Black Mission Figs are Dark When Ripe

It's easier to tell when black figs are ripe than with greener figs we grow. The ripe black figs shown in this photo are Mission Figs. Their dark color is very different from the Iight color of ripe Kadota figs shown in my photographs throughout most of this page.

There is a huge black mission fig tree in the lot next to our house.

Image credit: David Karp, courtesy of USDA http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/graphics/photos/aug02/k...

When Are Southern Hemisphere Figs Ripe?

Wondering when to pick Southern Hemisphere figs? Southern hemisphere figs in areas such as Australia are just beginning their season when the last of figs are being picked in the north.

In Australia, some varieties produce two crops a year. Look to pick ripe figs in Australia around December and again in February.

But remember, the LOOK AND FEEL of the figs tells you if figs are ripe. So read on. The Step-Wise Guide to When Figs are Ripe works where ever you are.

Fig tree
Fig tree

Stepwise Guide to When Figs are Ripe

Kadota figs and some other varieties are greenish in color even when ripe. The step-wise guide shown here as you scroll down should help you decide when your figs are ripe especially if you have one of these varieties.

Our fig trees were here when we moved in, so we are unsure of the variety. Unlike mission figs, the figs on our kadota trees are greenish to cream color when ripe. In California, some common types of figs are black mission figs, calimyrna figs and kadota figs. The fruit of mission figs turns a dark purplish color when ripe, not like ours. The fruit of our trees ends up a pale creamy green color. Based on shape and taste, ours most likely are kadota figs. Another possibility are Adriatic figs or maybe a hybrid of these varieties, but they are most likely kadota.

Fig trees get quite large, and fig leaves are enormous. Fig trees need a lot of sunshine, and they will "steal it" from the rest of the garden.

The following Stepwise Guide to When Figs are Ripe is divided into 3 parts:

* Unripe Figs

*Ripening Figs

*Ripe Fig Ready to Pick

This fig is unripe.
This fig is unripe.

Unripe Figs: Small, Green and Upright

Figs that are very green and stand up from the stem are unripe. They are relatively small and fairly firm to the touch, but avoid too much touching because it can bruise them. Also, some people have a skin reaction to unripe figs, as described below.

The sap of unripe figs can be especially irritating. If you were to pick the figs at this stage, the sap would run very white and milky.

Riper figs begin to droop
Riper figs begin to droop

Ripe Figs: Larger, Paler Green and Droop

The kadota fig shown here is not fully ripe, but it is close to mature. Notice that the fig is larger and droops on its stem. The droop is a big hint to ripeness. This fig is still slightly too green and too firm to be fully ripe, but it could be picked and eaten at this stage.

Kadota figs especially near the coast are slightly green even when ripe - essentially a green ripe fig.

You may wonder, "Do figs ripen after being picked?" Sadly, it is not really possible to ripen figs on the kitchen table as you might do with other fruits. Figs do not ripen well after being picked and should be kept in the refrigerator until eating.

group of figs, likely kadota
group of figs, likely kadota

When To Pick?

The fig season

The fig season varies by species, location and year based on differences in temperature, humidity, sunshine and rainfall. For example the fig season in Southern California is earlier than in Northern California; the season for Mission figs generally starts earlier than for Kadota (the early Mission fig crop comes in late May through June)

A general rule is Mission figs in North America start late May to June (1st crop) and possibly late July but likely Aug to September (2nd crop). Kadota (greenish figs) have a crop by late July and mostly August to end September. It's best to learn the signs of a ripening fig for your own tree and just keep checking.

Here are details of the three stages to decide when to pick your figs.

Stage 1: The Unripe Fig

Unripe figs are deep green, firm, small and they stand up from the stem. Another hint to ripeness is shown in the detail here. The end of the fruit away from the stem is tightly closed. Don't pick it now. It won't ripen off the tree.

This fig is not yet open for business!

An almost-ripe fig with tip beginning to open.
An almost-ripe fig with tip beginning to open.

Stage 2: The Ripening Fig

Now you begin to see changes. After what seems like an age, especially in a cool or rainy summer, the fig finally has soaked in the sun to ripen. It begins to go fairly quickly, so you can see daily changes in the fruit. The ripening fig gets larger. It begins to plump out. The color changes, getting less green and more creamy or yellowish in color for this variety (remember, some varieties such as Mission Figs will turn a dark purplish color as they ripen.) It gives slightly to the touch (or bruises, so be careful not to over-test.) And as you have learned here, the fruit begins to droop.

The detail of ripening you can notice up close: the end away from the stem begins to open a little portal. The fig may even begin to ooze a tiny droplet of nectar from this opening.

Now comes the hard choice: Should you pick it? If the end is truly opened, it is likely ripe enough to eat, but it may not be fully ripe and have attained the peak of its rich, ripe flavor. So what is the hint that tells you it's truly ripe? Read on to Stage 3.

Fully ripe fig, interior revealed by a thoughtful bird.
Fully ripe fig, interior revealed by a thoughtful bird.

Stage 3: The Fully Ripe Fig

You can tell a fig is truly ripe and delicious when you find it half-eaten by a bird or squirrel.

About 10 minutes after any fig gets ripe, a bird pecks it or a squirrel grabs it - at least it seems that way. For the best fig taste, you need to leave the fig on the tree until truly ripe. They do not continue to ripen after picked and in fact they spoil fairly soon. If you keep a picked fig overnight, put it in the fridge.

In this picture of our tree: Notice how the bird has thoughtfully revealed the inner flesh of the fig fruit so that you can see what a fully ripe fig looks like inside.

Last summer we tried hanging aluminum foils strips to the tree. You could almost hear the mockingbird laughing. Or should I say mocking.

Next we tried hanging a few old CDs to twist in the breeze. AOL seems to work best. :-) But the effect wore off after a couple of weeks.

The best solution is just hope you get enough figs to share with the birds and still have some for yourself.

ripe greenish fig © E. Friedman, all rights reserved
ripe greenish fig © E. Friedman, all rights reserved

What Color Are Ripe Figs?

To help decide when are figs ripe, you may ask, "What color are ripe figs?" Answer: Very light greenish OR very dark purple color.

For unripe figs - color is predictable. Unripe figs are small and green. But the color of a fig when ripe varies, depending on which variety. Notice the greenish-creamy Iight color of the almost ripe figs shown in this photo. These ripe-green-figs are possibly Kadota figs or maybe Adriatic figs shown in my photographs through this page.

I had been familiar with figs that are dark purplish color when ripe, such as the ripe Mission figs from the California Central Valley shown here. So I kept waiting for our green figs at the house where we now live to turn dark - but they don't. Being a different variety, likely Kadota , they only turn a light creamy greenish yellow color.

How do you tell what color your own figs are when ripe? If you are unsure of which variety you have, you can look for a change in color as a hint of ripeness. Also look for the typical droop on stem, opening of the end of the fruit and slight softness of the fig as indicators of whether or not a fig is ripe. Once you do a few trial and error tests this way, you will know what color a ripe fig is for your own particular tree.

Chef Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen in San Diego
Chef Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen in San Diego

What to Do With Ripe Figs

Wondering what to do with ripe figs?

Chef Elizabeth at Elizabeth's Kitchen in San Diego has this suggestion for what to do with fresh figs:

Fresh Fig Recipe

"I like figs wrapped in prosciutto, and stuffed with blue cheese, baked and served on top of a inkie puddle of a good balsamic, like a vanilla fig balsamic blend."

Visit her website for more free recipes, cooking news and music. Yes, music. This chef also sings opera.

CLICK HERE----> Elizabeth's Kitchen

Fig Leaves Are Big

No wonder they feature in ancient stories as a way to cover the body. Fig leaves are huge. However, they may not make great clothing as some people have a contact reaction to them, although it is mainly to the sap.

Fig tree, image © E. Friedman 2011, all rights reserved
Fig tree, image © E. Friedman 2011, all rights reserved

Which Species Do You Have?

It's not always easy to know which species or variety of fig you have unless you purchased the tree from a grower yourself. There are 720 known varieties of fig grown as food around the world. Here's a guide as a start:

Edible figs are generally the common fig with scientific name Ficus carica.

Commercial figs: Smyrna or Calimyrna in California, require pollination to set fruit. This is done by a small wasp. The source of pollen is from caprifigs that make male and female flowers. The edible Calimyrna has only femaie flowers, and that is where the female wasp must crawl inside to carry in pollen. Growers must have caprifigs and wasps available to get fruit from their Smyrna or Calimyrna tree.

Garden figs: These can be from a number of varieties or hybrids that do not require pollination to set fruit. Kadota makes a sweet, small to medium greenish white fruit. An Adriatic fig such as Verone makes a slightly larger top-shaped greenish-yellow fruit.

Information based on this excellent USDA article by David Himelrick 1999 that you can read for FREE when you CLICK HERE ---> Fig Production Guide

Stem sap mission fig, © E. Friedman 2011
Stem sap mission fig, © E. Friedman 2011

Caution: Sensitivity to Fig Sap

Some people report a sensitivity to fig sap. The reactions to fig sap may show up as a skin rash or for some people, a soreness of the lips and gums after eating (lots of) fresh figs. In rare cases, people have a more serious and different type of reaction to fig sap, an anaphylactic shock, but that is entirely different.

The reaction to figs I mention is generally mild and usually more likely to happen in spring and summer. The main sensitivity is to sap of the stem of fig leaves and the leaves themselves. Sap in other shoots is also a problem. For people who react to latex the unripe fruit also can cause a reaction. Other reactive compounds known as psoralens are found in the fig sap but not generally in the fruit. Psoralens cause allergic reaction in certain people. Generally the ripe fig fruit does not cause sensitivity, but there are varying reports. It's a good idea to wear protective gloves when you harvest the fruit, prune the fig trees or any other handling of the tree and to wash your hands and arms afterward.

Fig sap does contain latex, and for people with a sensitivity to latex, this can cause a reaction. But the more general sensitivity to fig sap is likely not the latex itself but other components of sap such as the psoralens that cause the fig sap reaction. This mild reaction can happen even for people who are not allergic to latex. But not everyone reacts to fig sap at all. Wearing protective clothing and washing up after handling figs is useful.

I have felt a slight numbness in response to handling not-entirely-ripe figs myself, so I am careful and wash after touching them. My husband seems to be able to handle or gobble figs in unlimited amounts without reporting any problem.

Here is a link to a report on fig allergies Fig Allergy

People Asking Questions

If the fig season is late, people begin to ask "Can I ripen green figs off the tree?"

Good question! The answer is: Figs don't ripen well after being picked. In fact, they don't keep well unless dried, so for safety, refrigerate and eat fresh figs within a few days.

Good luck!

More on What to Do with Fresh Figs

Now that you have picked ripe figs off the tree, you need ideas of what to do with ripe figs. Figs do not keep long off the tree and they do not ripen off the tree. So be prepared with great fresh fig recipes.

These books specialize in fig recipes. Want to try one?

Lens of the Day Award
Lens of the Day Award

Lens of the Day - 31st of July 2011

What a good surprise this morning! This Fresh Figs lens was picked as Lens of the Day on Squidoo. Thanks!

Vegetarian Delight

Figs make a great addition to a vegetarian meal. Fresh figs have perhaps the biggest impact, eaten straight from the tree, as part of a fresh salad or stuffed in a variety of recipes.

Figs are a health part of vegetarian meals, being high in potassium. Click this link for more information about the nutritional value of figs:

Figs and Nutrition

When fresh figs are not available, try dried figs in your vegetarian meal plan. They work well on a relish tray, added to a green salad, with a variety of white cheeses or in baked desserts.

For more vegetarian recipes using figs CLICK THIS LINK:

Vegalicious Fig Recipes

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Kadota fig tree, © E. Friedman 2011, all rights reserved
Kadota fig tree, © E. Friedman 2011, all rights reserved

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    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 2 years ago from USA

      A friend of mine had fig trees and invited us to try them. They are so much better when freshly ripened off the tree. Your photos of the stages were very helpful.

    • efriedman profile image
      Author

      efriedman 4 years ago

      @ggpalms lm: Thank you. I've been away but will try to update this now.

    • efriedman profile image
      Author

      efriedman 4 years ago

      @Angelina Gherna: Thank you - glad you liked it

    • efriedman profile image
      Author

      efriedman 4 years ago

      @LaraineRoses: Thanks very much.

    • efriedman profile image
      Author

      efriedman 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Great question - I will try to add a picture. Thanks.

    • efriedman profile image
      Author

      efriedman 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Not sure of how to speed ripening - unless you have any way to increase sunlight (trimming other plants?) or adding a shield to reflect more sun to the plants. About the skins: as far as I know, most people do eat the skins. I have a slight allergy to figs, so I don't handle them without gloves myself.

    • efriedman profile image
      Author

      efriedman 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Good idea, although the fruit itself (inside and out) would be an even stronger evidence. I'll see if I can follow your suggestion in future. Thanks for the comment

    • efriedman profile image
      Author

      efriedman 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Yes, most people do eat the skin of the fig

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I asked what the inside of an unripe fig looked like.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      We are growing Mission & Kadota figs in containers in Buffalo,NY. Are there any tricks to quicken ripening on the tree before the frost damages the plant? Our relatives peel the figs before they eat them. Is this necessary?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      A section on determining the species of {with pictures} the most common figs would have added more clarity ie leaf shape/size, stem color, etc.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      do you eat the skins of the figs?

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 4 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Wonderful information about growing figs! A very extensive and informative article. Thank you for featuring my Vegetable Green Smoothies Recipes. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I just moved to a place with a fig tree. I had hundreds of figs on a very healthy looking tree. The figs were beautiful and and turned dark brown. They had virtually no flavor. Were they just not ripe enough? Or does my tree need something? Or do some fig trees just not make nice fruit? Thanks in advance for any advice.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      How to protect figs while they are ripening

    • ggpalms lm profile image

      ggpalms lm 4 years ago

      One of the finest articles on fig growing on the net!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I live in southwest Louisiana and for the first time in my life I am picking figs in November. They are usually ripe in July. Does anyone know what is going on?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I live in southwest Louisiana and for the first time in my life I am picking figs in November. They are usually ripe in July. Does anyone know what is going on?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Is November too late for figs to grow and actually ripen enough go eat? We have a tree full of new mission figs. We live in So California.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i have a big green fig tree, 10 years old we have loads of figs every year but they have never got to the ripe stage it,s big and in a sun place. why !!!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 4 years ago

      We can usually tell when our figs are ripe because the squirrels steal them. We have one Mission tree and another young one that is a volunteer. It hasn't produced any fruit yet. Figs are so delicious!

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 4 years ago from Somewhere in England

      We've had a lousy year for figs here in Britain. I've given up looking at them to be honest.

    • SgtCecil profile image

      Cecil Kenmill 4 years ago from Osaka, Japan

      I love figs! I just had two a minute ago

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I never gotten to try a fig before . I want to so bad, but can never find fresh ones...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      our overripe figs when opened have little white flecks that look like worms (they are not moving) but I think this is just derterioration, can you confirm?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'd love it if you could cut open a ripe fig and post the picture. I just picked a fig that was next to one that a bird (or squirrel) completely consumed. When I cut it in half, it looked a bit like a pear with lots of seeds, very pale, not like figs I've bought in the store. thanks.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Gosh, it sure has been a long time since I had a fig! Good to know when they are ripe. I'll have to look for some.

    • Lauriej1 profile image

      Lauriej1 5 years ago

      Great lens!!! :)

    • Miran74 profile image

      Miran74 5 years ago

      Yummy, I can't wait till the figs season... ;) Great lens, thanks!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Excellent lens. Angel blessings.

    • Angelina Gherna profile image

      Angelina 5 years ago from California

      I love fresh figs, really nice lens with great info.

    • efriedman profile image
      Author

      efriedman 5 years ago

      @Countryluthier: Thanks for the reminder about fig preserves. I grew up in northeast Texas. We had two huge fig trees, and while my sister loved fresh figs, my father was only partial to fig preserves - very different as you say.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      Wow you know your figs! Great lens with interesting facts. Angel blessed.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 5 years ago from Virginia

      Fig preserves please! In the country down home in Mississippi, jars of preserves were on the table for winter. I had forgotten that until now. Not the biggest fan of the fresh fig ;0, but the preserves, now that's a horse of a different and very tasty color. Thanks for sharing.w

    • wolfie10 profile image

      wolfie10 5 years ago

      excellent lens

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Very interesting! =D

    • Beadsnresin profile image

      Beadsnresin 5 years ago

      Yum, just love fresh figs!

    • MrsPotts profile image

      MrsPotts 5 years ago

      I'm so glad to have found this resource. We have a fig tree growing in the common landscape around our house. I see the fruit ripening every year, but have been hesitant to pick them too soon. Someone else always gets them before me. Next year I'll be ready! Thank you :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love figs

    • SilmarwenLinwelin profile image

      SilmarwenLinwelin 5 years ago

      Figs are my favourite fruit, sadly they are available only for a short time in Greece where I live. I've heard old people say that if one falls asleep under a fig tree, they may never wake up !

    • wilfredpadilla profile image

      wilfredpadilla 5 years ago

      @Faye Rutledge: It is really a great lens! You can say that again!

    • wilfredpadilla profile image

      wilfredpadilla 5 years ago

      @anonymous: It sure is! Really very interesting and informative.

    • wilfredpadilla profile image

      wilfredpadilla 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Wow, congratulations!

    • wilfredpadilla profile image

      wilfredpadilla 5 years ago

      @Srena44: Yup, this is really a great lens!

    • wilfredpadilla profile image

      wilfredpadilla 5 years ago

      Fig is not native in our country. I wonder how it taste.

    • caffimages profile image

      caffimages 5 years ago

      My fig has just produced its first proper crop, so this lens has been very informative. Thanks!

    • Srena44 profile image

      Srena44 6 years ago

      I love fresh figs, great lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Love figs, ice cream of figs.

      Congrats on LOTD>

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I'll never have the problem of recognizing ripe figs, since I live in Ohio, but this lens was still very interesting and informative! Congrats on LOTD!

    • efriedman profile image
      Author

      efriedman 6 years ago

      @RawBill1: Warning: "figs" growing on a vine I suspect are NOT figs at all, and the unknown fruit may be harmful. One hint is that the birds don't like them. I recommend to not eat them!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 6 years ago from Concord VA

      Great lens, thanks for the info on figs! Congratulations on LotD!

    • profile image

      quicpost 6 years ago

      We had a fig tree growing on Oahu, Hawaii at my Uncle's backyard garden farm. My Uncle has since passed away, my Aunt sold the property and we don't know what had happened to the fig tree now. It was nice picking it and eating it off the "tree" (vine)-the most delicious fruit you can ever eat. When I get enough money I plan to have avocado, mango and breadfruit trees in my garden. Thanks for the helpful information!

    • squid-janices7 profile image

      squid-janices7 6 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD! Can't have a fig tree in Minnesota, but we do have them in the grocery store. Of course, I never know how to choose the best figs in the produce department.

    • emmaklarkins profile image

      emmaklarkins 6 years ago

      Yum, can't wait until our figs are ready!

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 6 years ago from Central Florida

      Congrats on LOTD! We get fresh figs in FL in the grocery store for about a week, and I love eating them. Thanks for all the cool info about them.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Congrats on LotD - I love figs, but I think they may not be very successful in London, as they grow best in a Mediterranean-type climate. Have you any advice about what growing conditions they require? A module about that would be much appreciated.

      Meanwhile, here are some Angel Blessings for a very informative and well-designed lens

    • Stephen Lewis profile image

      Stephen Lewis 6 years ago

      About five years agp. I took a part of a fig bush, (too many trunks over a 12 ft circle) hacked off a trunk and some roots, and planted in my back yard. It now is about 6 feet tall from new trunks and does not produce fruit. It bore fruit before the traumatic transplant. How long might it be before I see anything but huge leaves?

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 6 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      These figs do look delicious. I had some home made fig jam from the farmers markets not long ago and it was delicious! We had figs growing on a vine at our last house, but they were horrible. Not palatable at all unfortunately. Even the fruit bats and birds left them alone! The leaves were small on that plant, nothing like those big leaves that you show here. Congrats on LOTD. Well Done!

    • Nightmareartist profile image

      Melissa A Benson 6 years ago from Connecticut

      Very informative! I was surprised about the sap being an irritant to some people.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      We love Fig Preserves and I enjoyed this read about Fresh Figs. Congrats on LOTD

    • serenity4me lm profile image

      serenity4me lm 6 years ago

      I think this lens was put together very nicely, congrats on LOTD! Have a beautiful day.

    • profile image

      JennySui 6 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD!

    • profile image

      GrowWear 6 years ago

      Love figs! Grew up picking fresh figs from the tree to eat, which is a favorite memory. Congratulations for LOTD.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 6 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Awesome fresh figs lens! Congrats on lotd!

    • InquisitiveOne LM profile image

      InquisitiveOne LM 6 years ago

      Great lens. I can't wait to try the recipes.

    • Krafick profile image

      Krafick 6 years ago

      I love figs. Figs of Barbaria too, although they are not the same. Rafick

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I enjoyed this Lens, because we have a fig tree planted against the wall of our flat, and it has quite a lot of figs on it every year. I just eat them right away, they taste great! Not quite sure how to prune figs. I have to cut the tree back hard every year to keep it neat.

    • Psycho-Gamer profile image

      MasterPsycho 6 years ago from Earth

      figs are amonmg the best and most nutrient foods nature can give....but be careful don eat too many of them at once because your bottom and the toilet will be best friends in notime

    For Fig Lovers

    This book is described as a cook book for fig lovers. Notice the big fig leaf inspired cover photo. It's a different variety of fig than that shown on my lens, but you can see the same features of ripe and unripe figs: unripe are deep green and stand up from stem; ripe figs turn color and droop.

    This book gets excellent customer reviews on Amazon.

    Food from Amazon: Dried Figs

    Even if you have fig trees, fresh figs are not always available. Maybe it's too early in the season. Maybe it's too late, thanks to the "early bird". For those times when you don't have fresh figs, you might like to have some dried figs on hand for snacks and fig recipes.

    And this way, you can try a variety of different figs. Or branch out and try other dried fruits for a healthy diet. We like to keep dried blueberries and dried mangos on hand to add to cereal or salads.

    Another Type of Fig: The "Newton"

    Now for all that most people LOVE the special treat of freshly picked, raw figs, I for one prefer the classic version, the "Newton". That is to say, fig cooked into a cookie generally known as a Fig Newton. I don't usually go for store bought cookies (and my current need to diet says I should not go for any cookie at present) but from childhood I have been partial to the taste of cooked figs in a fig newton cookie. With a glass of milk. Yumm.

    Fig Newton is a trademark of the food manufacturer, Nabisco. They also make a fat-free version of the Newton.

    Figuratively Speaking: A Poll on Figs

    Ripening fig, Calfornia © E. Friedman 2011, all rights reserved
    Ripening fig, Calfornia © E. Friedman 2011, all rights reserved

    Fig trees don't grow in all parts of the world, and they take up a lot of space (Our two are eating our smallish garden). They are not a common garden plant. And because fresh figs do not store or travel well, it's a bit unusual to get them.

    Fig lovers go wild for fresh figs. My husband is the fresh fig lover in our home, so I am always on the alert to tell when figs are ripe. Otherwise, the birds take all.

    Let's here what you think about figs.

    Have you eaten fresh, ripe, raw figs?

    See results

    A New Approach to Cooking

    This book combines recipes with many foods including figs with a refreshing point of view about cooking simple foods that are delicious. The author is chef at Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley. Reviewers loved this book and how ti makes you look at cooking.

    Another Delicious Fruit: Blueberries

    While you a waiting for your figs to get ripe, you might want to sample another delicious fruit that is particularly good for your health: blueberries. They are rich in anti-oxidants. You can get blueberries fresh in most grocery stores even if you do not live in blueberry country. Just rinse and eat - great! Or add to cereal, pancakes, muffins. A blob of yogurt goes well with blueberries, too.

    For the most unusual way to eat them, try blueberries with tomato soup. See the featured lens on Blueberries and Red Soup from TJ's.

    And consider trying dried blueberries - they offer a surprising burst of flavor for a great snack or addition to a salad or cereal. Amazon has dried blueberries and books with blueberry recipes.

    Please let us hear from you.

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      • profile image

        anonymous 3 years ago

        My figs are small and brown, So what kind of fig tree do I have.

      • efriedman profile image
        Author

        efriedman 4 years ago

        Fig season in Northern California is fairly good this year - but we've had less water than normal. How is it in your part of the world?

      • profile image

        getmoreinfo 4 years ago

        I like Fresh Figs

      • profile image

        anonymous 4 years ago

        Fun to read lens from a fresh fig fan.

      • KimGiancaterino profile image

        KimGiancaterino 4 years ago

        Thanks for featuring my fig lens. I'll add your link there soon. I'm planning to revamp that lens.

      • profile image

        JoshK47 4 years ago

        Popping back in to bless this lens! :)

      • profile image

        ottnepal 5 years ago

        Woow Nice Lense

      • BubblesRFun profile image

        BubblesRFun 5 years ago

        Nice lens....My fig tree is growing as I type:)

      • Wealth-seekers LM profile image

        Wealth-seekers LM 5 years ago

        it is best when the figs just ripen on the tree oh what a treat. Like your lens Thanks.

        http://www.squidoo.com/popular-free-ebooks

      • WriterJanis2 profile image

        WriterJanis2 5 years ago

        What a great lens. Blessed!

      • Countryluthier profile image

        E L Seaton 5 years ago from Virginia

        Again, a very nicely done lens on the humble fig. You're right, the birds always know!

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Stopping by to add my blessing...was here in May and in August was so pleased that you received LotD honors on this excellence and blessing again.

      • SilmarwenLinwelin profile image

        SilmarwenLinwelin 5 years ago

        Well-written lens!

      • fugeecat lm profile image

        fugeecat lm 5 years ago

        I love fig newtons! But I've never had fresh figs.

      • laki2lav profile image

        laki2lav 5 years ago

        I love figs!

      • sousababy profile image

        sousababy 5 years ago

        Belated congrats on LotD. What a fabulous resource for fig lovers! Thanks for the education.

      • Diana Wenzel profile image

        Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

        Congrats on LotD! I'm not sure how I missed this lens earlier. Thanks for the information. All of this was new learning for me. Always appreciate an opportunity to expand my knowledge base, especially when it comes to any type of gardening or food production.

      • thesuccess2 profile image

        thesuccess2 6 years ago

        Detecting ripeness is a problem with many fruits!

      • Srena44 profile image

        Srena44 6 years ago

        great lens

      • efriedman profile image
        Author

        efriedman 6 years ago

        @serenity4me lm: I agree - love blueberries! For fun, visit my lens on Blueberries with Red Soup

      • serenity4me lm profile image

        serenity4me lm 6 years ago

        I'll take the blueberries please.

      • Ilonagarden profile image

        Ilona E 6 years ago from Ohio

        congratulations! I love fresh figs- more people should get a chance to try them and your lens will probably convince them.

      • efriedman profile image
        Author

        efriedman 6 years ago

        @aka-rms: WOW! Thanks so much for this award! I moseyed over to the HQ page this morning without any idea that Fresh Figs was LotD - what a good surprise. Thanks.

      • aka-rms profile image

        Robin S 6 years ago from USA

      • kimpaul profile image

        kimpaul 6 years ago

        I grew up with a fig tree in my back yard! love them!

      • natashaely profile image

        natashaely 6 years ago

        I really like figs and have had them both dried and fresh, this is a well written and easy to follow account. A lot of great information, will be passing this onto my friend who wanted to know about figs and it's easier if she reads it herself!

      • hlkljgk profile image

        hlkljgk 6 years ago from Western Mass

        i always liked dried figs, but after finally trying fresh, i prefer them such a treat. :)

      • seanjennin profile image

        seanjennin 6 years ago

        Good lense, thanks... And especially like The "Newton" fig...

      • norma-holt profile image

        norma-holt 6 years ago

        With 2 fig trees and lots silver eyes to peck at them it is a bit of a race to get the ripe ones first, I share my fruit with the birds and they have their own apple trees in my garden, Nice lens

      • Scarlettohairy profile image

        Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

        Who knew you knew so much about figs!? I love a good fig.

      • Blackspaniel1 profile image

        Blackspaniel1 6 years ago

        Nice lens

      • BLouw profile image

        Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

        We have a small fig tree and although it has had figs they haven't ripened. Hoping to get some this year.

      • Paul Ward profile image

        Paul 6 years ago from Liverpool, England

        One of my favourite fruits - sadly rare in the shops and costing a fortune so it's usually dried for me.

      • TreasuresBrenda profile image

        Treasures By Brenda 6 years ago from Canada

        Nicely done; I have never eaten figs.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        I first tasted fresh figs from Harrods where the old man in-charge of that section explained its provenance. Then, I had chance to work in Gaza and it was the season for figs. It was heaven.

      • darciefrench lm profile image

        darciefrench lm 6 years ago

        I love figs - yum - awesome page on how to know when a fig is ripe - nice!

      • TonyPayne profile image

        Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

        We have a few fig trees growing near us, and they have a lot of fruit on them. However, they never manage to get beyond the dark green stage, because we don't have enough sunshine and warmth in the UK.

      • profile image

        JoshK47 6 years ago

        Great guide! I don't know of any places locally where I can get figs straight from the trees, but still, good stuff to know!

      • WindyWintersHubs profile image

        WindyWintersHubs 6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

        Yum! You are lucky to be able to grow and enjoy figs. They are very tasty!

      • profile image

        dellgirl 6 years ago

        Thank you bunches for visiting, commenting, and for SquidLiking my lens. I appreciate your visit.

        You have a nice lens here, very interesting and helpful. Good work.

        I hope you have a wonderful day!

      • Wedding Mom profile image

        Wedding Mom 6 years ago

        I love figs, I think who wouldn't right I know someone who owns a try but just like Quinnwolf they're having a difficult time getting at least one. I will be suggesting this lens of yours so that they'll know what to do. Thanks so much for posting.

      • efriedman profile image
        Author

        efriedman 6 years ago

        @QuinnWolf LM: Yes, I think of our fig tree as a giant bird-feeder.

      • QuinnWolf LM profile image

        QuinnWolf LM 6 years ago

        I have a fig tree in my backyard but the birds and squirrels eat all the fuit before it ever gets a chance to ripen.

      • efriedman profile image
        Author

        efriedman 6 years ago

        @sukkran trichy: Thank you.

      • sukkran trichy profile image

        sukkran trichy 6 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

        an informative lens. your information and photos are great. well presented lens.

      • efriedman profile image
        Author

        efriedman 6 years ago

        @anonymous: Thanks!

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

        This is interesting. I love figs, but never knew so much about them.

      • efriedman profile image
        Author

        efriedman 6 years ago

        @debnet: Thanks for stopping by and liking the lens. I'll see what I can find out about figs at the grocer's.

      • debnet profile image

        Debbie 6 years ago from England

        I adore fresh figs! I once found some in a local greengrocers and hurried home to prepare them. They were well past their best unfortunately... what a disappointment :( Some tips on what to look for at the supermarket would be useful please! :)

      • efriedman profile image
        Author

        efriedman 6 years ago

        @moonlitta: My Dad loved fig jam. Humm, fig pancakes, that's a great idea. I think my husband will like that. I'll give it a try when the figs are ripe this summer. Thanks for suggestion.

      • profile image

        moonlitta 6 years ago

        Figs are not very common in Bulgaria;still in the South where we neibor Greece the climate is a bit like Mediterranean so figs feel good there. We all love fig jam and pancakes with it, they're both delicious!

      • efriedman profile image
        Author

        efriedman 6 years ago

        @dc64 lm: The Mission Fig trees do grow very large, don't they? Thanks for your comment and visit.

      • dc64 lm profile image

        dc64 lm 6 years ago

        My next door neighbor, who also happens to be my dad, has two large Mission Fig trees, and I look forward to late Spring every year for the yummy figs. The leaves do irritate my skin if I'm exposed to them for too long, but the rash goes away rather quickly.