Figs are well known in the world and are one of the earliest fruit to be cultivated. It also plays a part in some religions. There are varieties of figs, check this article.
Figs are classified as one of the most diversified fruits in the world and among the earliest fruits to be cultivated. The fruit has a complex and symbolic history that has a place in many religions, such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism. It is also a nutritious fruit that is packed with vitamins, phytochemicals, fiber and has no fat at all.
Numerous varieties of figs exist, and they are differentiated by color, size, and shape. According to a recent study, there are over 600 varieties of fig varieties that have remarkable genetic diversity. In this article, we will discuss the types of figs, their fruit shapes, their taste, and some of the commonly asked questions about figs.
Common Types of Figs
You should note that figs are classified as either fresh or dry figs despite the variety. But over 90% of figs worldwide are dried. Dried figs have a longer shelf life than fresh figs as the fresh ones are fragile and prone to spoiling. Below are some of the most common fig types from dry and fresh categories.
1. Adriatic Fig
They are also called white figs due to their light color. Adriatic Figs have green skin with pale pink flesh and have a high sugar content. This extra sweetness makes the Adriatic Fig ideal for fig bar and paste applications. They also have a creamy red flesh, which can be used as a flavor.
You can consume the Adriatic Figs in various ways, such as a fruit dessert or chopping and incorporating them in yogurt or juices. Harvesting of Adriatic Figs is done in June and August.
2. Black Mission Fig
Black Mission Figs are also prominent for their sweetness and are a very common type worldwide. They are small figs that have a deep blue to purple coating and solid pink on the inside. Black Mission Figs get sweeter when left on the trees as the sun dries them more and also gain a gummy texture.
Their remarkable sweetness makes them an ideal snack that can be eaten alone or served with different kinds of meals. You can take Black Mission Figs with foods such as yogurt, fresh cheese, and fresh ricotta, among other meal options.
3. Brown Turkey Fig
Brown Turkey Figs are relatively larger than most figs and are comparatively less sweet. They have brownish to dark purple skin and pale pink inside with fewer seeds than other fig types. Due to their lighter sweetness, Brown Turkey Figs are best for salads as they act as natural sweeteners. You can also mix them with honey and use them as desserts, make fig bread, or even fig jam.
4. Kadota Fig
This is one of the most common fig trees in California. Its figs are light green with a pale interior, but less sweet compared to most fig types. But when they attain the correct ripeness, the sweetness is boosted. They are best when taken raw, and they make a good ingredient when heated for jams and preservatives.
Eating them with a pinch of salt can bring the most of their sweetness. They can also be used in salads and pizzas where you will chop them and add other ingredients. The Kadota tree is also regarded as an ornamental tree with a beautiful, bold, and branching structure.
5. Calimyrna Fig
This type is larger than most varieties and has a greenish and slightly golden outer pigment. It has stunning pink insides and is one of the softest and most delicious fruits. The fruit has an earthy and sweet-like honey taste profile and can be used in numerous savory cooking roles. Calimyrna Fig has a striking inside color that makes it best for cutting up and serving as-is.
They can be served with cheese or walnuts due to their nutty flavor. You can also simmer them in water, wine, or juice and use them for sauces, marinades, and glazes. In addition, Calimyrna Figs can also be used in other numerous cooking roles such as baking, blending with rice, spices, and chicken, to name a few.
6. Celeste Fig
Celeste Fig is one of the most popular figs with a medium-sized fruit. Its skin is light brown to purple, and its inside is pink. It is one of the sweetest figs, mostly eaten as a desert fig. Due to its sweetness, Celeste Fig has been nicknamed “sugar fig.” Celeste Fig is also ideal for processing purposes such as preservation and drying.
The tree has a low maintenance cost as it is heat and pest resistant. It is also a closed-eye fig that prevents natural pests such as wasps from attacking the fruit. Another exciting attribute about the Celeste Fig is that it ripens earlier in the season than most fig varieties. It can also produce fruits in the first year of growth and is prominent for being prolific and packing a lot of fruits.
7. Desert King Fig
The Desert King Fig is a prominent type due to its outstanding perseverance in the rain. The fruit has mildly yellow skin and red flesh. Desert King bears fruits two years after planting and produces large fruits. The tree is versatile as it thrives in cool climates, coastal regions, and high elevation regions.
It has an exceptional fruit quality due to its melting texture, high sugar content, and pleasant-tasting seeds.
8. Chicago Hardy Fig
Its name arises due to the fact that the tree is cold hardy. Chicago Hardy has small fruits that have brown to purple skin and light pink flesh. The tree is easy to grow and showcases drought-resistant characteristics. It is also a heat-resistant and self-pollinating tree. This means that it does not depend on other fig trees to bear fruits.
Chicago Hardy fruits are loved for their sweetness and rich flavor. You can eat them raw or incorporate them in salads, cheese, or charcuteries. Additionally, Chicago Hardy fruits can be dehydrated, canned, and frozen. The fruits are nutritious, and the leaves are a good source of food.
Leaves are mostly grilled and steamed for baking purposes. The leaves also have a smoky flavor that can be used to flavor foods and tea.
9. Excel Fig
Excel Fig is regarded as one of the best yellow figs as it is richly sweet and has an outstanding honey flavor. In addition, Excel Fig withstands splitting compared to most fig varieties. It is also one of the easiest fruits to grow and is well adapted to a wide array of climates.
It produces sweet fruits even in cooler climates, and they are medium to large in size. Excel Fig produces yellow fruit with amber pulp. The tree is a new type of fig created in 1975 and is a hybrid of Kadota Figs. It is a good all-purpose fig that is more productive.
10. Corky’s Honey Delight Fig
The Corky’s Honey Delight Fig is a moderately growing tree that produces green fruits that turn light yellowish green when ripe. It has an amber, pink interior and has sweet notes of honey flavors. The tree produces two yields a year, in June and late summer.
Corky’s Honey Delight Fig has succulent skin, and its tree grows fairly fast. It does well along the coastal and mid-humid areas but can also thrive well in other areas with good soil. This fig type was bred and created by Monrovia, and it’s a strong breba crop.
11. White Genoa
The White Genoa Fig tree grows moderately and produces very large fruits that have yellowish-green skin and rose pulp. It is a delicious fig that can be eaten raw or used for preservation and canning purposes. The tree does well in the coastal area and does not do well in humid and wet summers. This is because it is highly prone to pest damage as it has a large open eye.
It is also an easy fruit to grow and maintain as it does well in a variety of soils. White Genoa bears fruits after one to two years after planting, and the ripening time is between late July and early August.
12. Peter’s Honey
The tree is named after the late Peter Danna of Portland and is regarded as one of the best figs. As the name suggests, Peter’s Honey has tender, sweet fruits that have yellowish-green skin and amber flesh.
The tree has a medium growth rate and can be used as a garden tree as well. The fruits are medium-sized and ripen well in warmer climates. Peter’s Honey Figs have a sweet, tender fruit with a honey flavor which makes them ideal for eating fresh.
13. Osborne Prolific
Also known as the Neverella Fig tree, this tree has a semi-dwarf growth and produces medium-sized fruits. The fruits have yellow to purplish-brown skin and honey amber flesh. It is known to be one of the moistest figs and has figgy flavors with sweet berry and honey notes. Osborne Prolific Fig is known to be a prolific producer but requires cool coastal climates for optimum bearing.
14. Yellow Long Neck
Yellow Long Neck Fig is one of the most delicious figs that produces twice a year. It has a tender, thin skin that is bright yellow in color and has light amber flesh. The fruits are large and round with a long neck.
Its thin skin and sweet flavor make it an ideal fig to be eaten fresh. However, it has a better taste after receiving at least eight hours of sun. You can also use it for numerous kitchen purposes, such as making jams, pies, or frying with various dishes.
The Olympian Fig variety was first discovered in Washington State and is one of the most delicious figs with very large fruits. The figs have tender purple skin and violet flesh that is extremely succulent. It does well in cool, maritime climates, and the tree does not grow very tall. The tree is extra hardy as it can survive in both cool and coastal climates. Olympian Figs ripen as early as May.
16. Ronde de Bordeaux
Ronde de Bordeaux is a French fig variety that produces small to medium fruits. The fruits have dark purple skin, and the flesh is reddish-pink. It is a very delicious fig with a sweet flavor and notes of grapes, syrup, and strawberry. Ronde de Bordeaux produces one crop starting mid-August.
Despite producing one crop, Ronde de Bordeaux is one of the earliest ripening figs ever seen. It does well in cool climates and is one of the easiest fruits to grow.
How long does a fig take to grow?
Figs are known to be fast-growing fruit trees that require minimal maintenance. However, the growth and ripening rate will depend on the variety. Some will take one to two years to bear fruits, while some can go up to five years.
How many fig varieties are there?
Being one of the earliest fruits ever to be cultivated, figs have an indefinite number of varieties. There are approximately over 600 fig varieties, and yet there are still others that have not ever been cultivated.
Can you grow figs indoors?
Although most people may have grown figs indoors, there are several reasons why you can’t do so. First, figs require full sun in the summer as it helps in ripening and boosting their taste profile. Moreover, deciduous figs lose their leaves during the autumn, and most trees can grow big, which does not suit an indoor setting.
How do you know if a fig is ripe?
Ripe figs are soft and yield to pressure when squeezed gently. In addition, loose stems are signs that the fig is ripe. Those that are shrunken or have sap oozing from cracks are overripe.
What is the shelf life of figs?
Figs are some of the most perishable fruits in the world. That’s why it is recommended that you eat them within one or two days. Storage also determines how long they will last. If you place them in a bowl without stacking them over each other, they can at least last for five days.