Thursday, December 03, 2009


These days, the only experience most people have with figs is with the fig jam that forms the core of the Fig Newton cookie.

In case you were wondering, Fig Newton is a trademark of the National Biscuit Company, AKA Nabisco. It is not named for Isaac Newton, who discovered the principle of gravitic attraction that explains why your ass weighs so much more after you eat a whole package of Fig Newtons. Rather, it is named for the city of Newton, Massachusetts, a city whose inhabitants (one could surmise) enjoyed eating those eponymous confections... confections that, when consumed in sufficient quantities, could have a pronounced laxative effect.

But there’s much more to figs than Fig Newtons.

Dried figs are pleasant enough, but they taste like pastryless Newtons to me. If I am that desperate for fiber, I’ll engulf a passel of prunes, preferably. But fresh figs - when you can get ’em - are a revelation. They have a delicate, slightly jammy flavor, meltingly sweet but not cloying. Delicious.

And if you want a dish that can perform double duty both as appetizer and dessert, why not try broiled fresh figs with Stilton cheese?

Simply stem a handful of fresh Brown Turkey or Mission figs and slice them in half, revealing their purple-pink, jewel-like interior. Put a slice of Stilton on each fig half, then run ’em under a broiler until the cheese begins to melt and turn brown at the edges.

Figs with Stilton

Sure, it’ll make your entire house smell like old socks. But it will be worth it when you taste that combination of sweet-salty-cheesy-figgy goodness!

Betcha this would be really good with a fine old Port...

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