Fig is rich in natural health benefiting phyto-nutrients, anti-oxidants and vitamins. Completely developed and ripe fig features bell or pear shape with succulent juicy flesh inside. Dried figs, indeed, are highly concentrated source of minerals and vitamins.
Since fresh figs are one of the most perishable fruits, they should be purchased only a day or two in advance of when you are planning on eating them. Look for figs that have a rich, deep color and are plump and tender, but not mushy. They should have firm stems and be free of bruises. Smelling figs can also give you clues into their freshness and taste. They should have a mildly sweet fragrance and should not smell sour, which is an indication that they may be spoiled.
When preparing oatmeal or any other whole grain breakfast porridge, add some dried or fresh figs.
Poach figs in juice or red wine and serve with yogurt or frozen desserts.
Add quartered figs to a salad of fennel, arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese.
Fresh figs stuffed with goat cheese and chopped almonds can be served as hors d'oeuvres or desserts.
Before eating or cooking figs, wash them under cool water and then gently remove the stem. Gently wipe dry.
Dried figs can simply be eaten, used in a recipe as is, or simmered for several minutes in water or fruit juice to make them plumper and juicier.
Ripe figs should be kept in the refrigerator where they will stay fresh for about two days. Since they have a delicate nature and can easily bruise, you should store them either arranged on a paper towel-lined plate or shallow container. They should be covered or wrapped in order to ensure that they do not dry out, get crushed or pick up odors from neighboring foods. If you have purchased slightly under-ripe figs, you should keep them on a plate, at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Dried figs will stay fresh for several months and can either be kept in a cool, dark place or stored in the refrigerator. They should be well wrapped so that they are not over exposed to air that may cause them to become hard or dry.