Fig trees are one of the most common fruit trees in backyards throughout the Bay Area. You would think this would lead to them being a super popular fruit in the area, but this isn’t the case! Figs are one those pieces of fruit that usually taste better the uglier they get – but a lot of consumers buy figs that are under-ripe, are still extra-firm, and are not that sweet. At Bi-Rite we realize that the best tasting figs are the ones that sit on the tree longer to develop their sugars, and are harvested just when the jelly-like flesh of the figs is about to explode out of the skin with sugary goodness. The fresh fig selection at the Markets changes every day depending on which varieties our favorite farms are harvesting and delivering to the Markets.
Black Mission Figs are the most common fig you see at grocery stores. They have a thicker skin than most other varieties, which makes them a good crop for shipping long distances. If grown to the perfect level of ripeness, their dark purple flesh makes them one of the sweetest varieties. The Brown Turkey Fig is similar to the Black Mission in appearance, but a little lighter in color with green skin next to the stem. Brown Turkeys are known to be the largest growing fig and have beautiful rose-colored flesh.
The green fig varieties bring a lot of excitement to Bi-Rite each season with their lime green skin and beautiful reddish pink flesh. These are usually the some sweetest varieties of the season and a perfect dessert fig. Adriatic, Kadota, and Calimyrna Figs will all hit the Bi-Rite shelves between now and the end of September. I can’t forget to mention the Candystripe Fig with its yellow skin and green stripes – it’s always a main attraction in the produce department in August! The flesh is crimson-colored and they taste like raspberry or strawberry jam.
Throughout the month of August we will be celebrating all of these amazing figs and the local farms that grow them! From Bi-Rite Farm in the foothills of the Sierra, to the legendary fig farmers at Knoll Farm in Brentwood, each fig variety will bring a different flavor to the table. We are also highlighting the awesome Point Reyes Bay Blue Cheese and have adapted a killer recipe from our book, Eat Good Food, combining figs, blue cheese, and prosciutto that is going to blow your mind! Shop for the ingredients in our Markets or directly from our online store at Instacart.com and have them delivered to your door. And if you don’t remember what a big, juicy, ripe fig taste like please come by either Market and ask for a sample.