How to eat figs
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How to eat figs


How to eat a fresh fig

November 2016 - The best way to find out more about figs is to eat some! If you live where there are fig trees (anywhere warm), pick one from a tree. Or get a fresh fig at the grocery store if you can find one (ask the produce manager), cut it open and eat it.

dried figs
Dried figs

If you live somewhere where it gets cold in the winter, there may not be any fresh figs available in your grocery store. But they will certainly have dried figs, so you can try those. Dried figs are good just eating them by themselves, like raisins. You can make dried figs more interesting with this recipe:

Chop a cup of dried figs into little pieces and soak them in water for a few hours. Meanwhile, grind up half a cup of almonds into crumbs. You can put them in a plastic bag and roll them with a rolling pin, or use a food processor, but don't make them into paste. Add 1/4 cup shredded coconut and mix until it forms a sticky ball (if it's too sticky, add more almonds or coconut; if it's too dry, add more figs). Make one inch diameter balls and roll them in more shredded coconut. Refrigerate until firm.

Nervous about eating figs? Try a Fig Newton cookie - the filling is made of dried figs.

More about Figs
More about West Asian food

Bibliography and further reading about figs:

Food, by Fiona MacDonald and others (2001). For kids, facts about food from all over the world. A little preachy.

Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples, by Don and Patricia Brothwell (1998). Pretty specialized, but the book tells you where foods came from, and how they got to other places, and what people ate in antiquity. Not just Europe, either!

Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present, by Jean Louis Flandrin, Massimo Montanari, Albert Sonnenfeld. (1996). Hard going because it is translated from French, but Flandrin was one of the world's great food historians.

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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
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