What's Cooking in Carolina?

Mainly creative menus and recipes (usually healthy) and always from scratch with tips for party planning, theme parties, weddings and decorating tips so you can give swank parties or dinners to delight your guests from a part time caterer, owner/operator of a coming soon Entree Vous, but mainly a cook and eater who grows much of her own food and loves to laugh.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Figs - You're Darn Tootin'

This weekend, Genie, from InadvertentGardner is hosting where you find people from all over the world featuring herbs, vegetables or flowers. Check it out; you're sure to find something you want to try.

This week we're featuring figs. This is our tree with a 12' ladder so you get the idea of its size.

We dried a dehydrator full of them, since they are extremely perishable and we still have fig preserves and fig puree left over from last year. Someone sent me a recipe to try for figs and sausage tapas, which we will. Mainly, we just like to eat them. They are great with goat cheese.

The fig puree is really good as an accompaniment to meat or just on bread. They are so sweet you don't need all that sugar. We just add Vitamin C to help it retain its color and that's it.

We grow several varieties but really like Celeste. It's the sweetest, if not the largest fruited, and has a flavor that approaches Nabisco's famed Newton, except Celeste, unlike the venerable Smyrna (Calimyrna in California), doesn't have viable seeds, that result from pollination by the fig wasp, a troublesome and expensive procedure in fig plantations that is considered worthwhile because the tiny seeds that develop are complete and contain an oily endosperm that lends a certain "nutty" character to Smyrna-based products. Celeste is classed as a "Common Fig" which means it develops fruit without pollination. No fig wasps, no nothing. It is parthenocarpic, which literally means "virgin fruited," appropriately enough. Nature is so kind to us *sometimes* and a plant that will set fruit reliably without the need of pollination and fertilization is a real gift, especially since the fig wasp doesn't thrive in North Carolina. So, learn to live without endosperm, folks.

You're Darn Tootin'


  • At 10:59 AM, Blogger Kalyn said…

    You're so lucky. I've only had fresh figs a couple of times and haven't ever cooked anything with them since they're very expensive here. I love the idea of showing the ladder next to the tree. I had no idea they got that big.

  • At 9:41 PM, Blogger JMom said…

    wow! I didn't know figs grew that big either! The only fig plant I ever saw was about a 4 ft bush. I didn't know figs grew in NC either! so there you go, I'm just learning stuff left and right :) I love figs!

  • At 12:54 PM, Blogger sher said…

    What lovely figs!!! We have a few fig trees growing in a park down the street from us. They are lovely plants. I love to make fig jam--yum!

  • At 9:37 PM, Anonymous coffeepot said…

    You lucky lady! How I wish I had a fig tree.

  • At 9:52 AM, Blogger Pookah said…

    Thanks for the comments, Kalyn, Jmom, Sher and Coffeepot! We are lucky! Last year we got more than we knew what to do with. This year, we'll see. One batch got ruined with the rain and brought on the bees etc. They are so fragile. If you want cuttings, we can root some for you! P


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