Figs are one of the first fruits cultivated by ancient peoples. It is believed that they are one of the earliest fruit trees cultivated by humans. Their sweet taste, soft and chewy texture make figs the most popular fruits grown in Southern backgrounds.Figs are a good source of dietary fiber,natural sugars, iron, calcium, and potassium. A small fresh fig has 30 calories. They are low in fat, saturated-fat, and sodium. Because of their high fiber content, they act as a natural laxative. In Louisiana, the Celeste is the most popular variety and has been around for over 100 years. Top producing parishes are Iberia and Beauregard.
June and July are considered fig season. Select figs that are clean and dry with smooth, unbroken skin. The skin should be soft, yielding to the touch but not mushy. Look for a closed eye on the end of a fig when harvesting to reduce souring. The quality of the fig is better when harvested during dry conditions since fruit spoils quickly during rainy harvest season. To prevent bruising, do not pile figstoo highin a bowl. The fig juice might irritate the skin. When purchasing or picking figs, remember they are very perishable.
Figs are a versatile ingredient.They can add sweetness to any dish.Store figs in a plastic bag in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Use them within two days. Figs can be made into preserves and jams and used in baking. They can be served chilled, sliced in a bowl, with yogurt, in salads, as a snack or dessert. Figs can be dried in an oven or food dehydrator. They can also be frozen with or without sugar; peeled or unpeeled. For best flavor, they should be fully ripe.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice figs as you desire and place in a baking dish.
Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on fig slices.
Toss rosemary springs over them.
Roast for 40 minutes and remove from oven.
Cool for 10-15 minutes and serve with honey.
One serving yields: 68 calories, 0 grams fat, 1.5 mg sodium, 17.9 grams total carbohydrates, and .5 grams
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