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February 20, 2005

Mission fig compote

DSCN9008.jpg_t-1Lovely little black shrivelled mission figs! How's this for a "fig fact"? "Although considered a fruit, the fig is actually a flower that is inverted into itself. The seeds are drupes, or the real fruit. Figs are the only fruit to fully ripen and semi-dry on the tree." Or, a little mission fig history from the California Fig Advisory Board:

"Figs were brought to California by the Spanish missionary fathers who first planted them at the San Diego Mission in 1759. Fig trees were then planted at each succeeding mission, going North through California. The Mission fig, California’s leading black fig, takes its name from this history. The popular Calimyrna fig, golden brown in color, is the Smyrna variety that was brought to California’s San Joaquin Valley from Turkey in 1882, and was renamed Calimyrna in honor of its new homeland. However, the story of figs in California is relatively short in comparison to the history of figs throughout the world."

Bought a pound of organic mission figs, rinsed them, and placed them in a pot, with just enough water to cover and a few slices of fresh ginger and the whole peel of half a previously squeezed organic lemon. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to a low simmer, and watch for figs to swell. Add a little more water if needed. Don't let them explode. They should just swell and soften--like testicles, if I say so myself (no wonder "fig" is the name of an obscene gesture). Let cool. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. If the liquid does not cover the figs, invert the container and after a few hours, set upright again. They are even better the next day. Excellent with hot cereal or yogurt.

Posted by BKG at February 20, 2005 03:38 PM


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