Two types of figs (green and black) are commonly available although there are many different varieties. Black figs are usually from Turkey and tend to be larger and sweeter. Both types can be eaten complete with the skin. When they are ripe, you can split them open with your fingers to reveal the soft, sweet flesh full of edible seeds. They are high in fibre and good for the digestive system. Whole semi-dried figs are also available - including honeyed figs which have a deliciously sweet flavour. Green figs are available from November to July. Black figs all year.
Uses: Serve fresh figs with Parma ham, or after dinner with blue cheese. They are also delicious poached in wine or baked. Dried figs are popular in cakes and puddings and can also be eaten as a snack.
To store: Store at room temperature until ripe.
To prepare: Wash the fruit well and cut lengthways into quarters to reveal the bright red, juicy flesh.