Food & Wine


Giving a fig

Delicious in salads, with meat or for dessert

This seasonal fruit that flourishes in the surroundings of the Segrià town that gives it its name is usually of the so-called coll de dama variety, because of its elongated neck, while it also tends to have a wide body and dark skin. Its flesh is usually reddish or white in colour and is very sweet. When it is still not fully-ripe, it makes an excellent complement for white meat dishes, especially when opened and caramelised on the grill.

When fully ripe, it is delicious as a salad ingredient, especially along with Escala anchovies or cured ham. It also features in a number of traditional Catalan recipes, such as pa de figues (fig bread) —made with Anis and almonds— which is usually eaten during Lent, or in the creamy fig jam known as figat, which is a typical speciality of Menorca. Meanwhile, dried figs can be kept for many years.

The first figs of the year ripen around the time of the Sant Joan and Sant Pere festivities in early summer, while Alguaire figs usually become available a little later, in August. The figs have different names depending on their level of ripeness; when still green it is known as figó, while ripe figs are usually called secallona, and extremely ripe figs that are ready to fall from the tree are referred to as rutló. If fig trees produce figs out of season and the fruit fails to ripen, the figs are called xereques.

Green figs are always exquisite, but they need to be peeled, as the white inner skin is slightly toxic. However, if you prefer black figs, remember that the darker the skin, the better quality and the sweeter the fruit.

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