Figs for Dessert with Sandwiches
Late summer and early fall is the time when Californians travel to Fig Fest in San Diego. The San Diego chefs put their creativity into high gear. Their enticing figgy offerings have included Bourbon Vanilla Bundt Cake, Fig Puffs, Figs Wrapped in Phyllo with Orange Honey Syrup, and Fig Chutney. This is a true celebration of both fresh and dried figs.
That Fig Chutney might be a hit in Delhi where figs are prized for their nutritional value. Anjeer, or dried figs, contain minerals in abundance. These minerals include calcium, copper, iron, manganese, potassium, selenium, and zinc. The warmth of India is an excellent climate for these nutritious treats.
Some people believe that figs originated in Syria. That information might be lost in the mists of time, but what is a fact now is that families in Damascus have access to figs. Home grown figs are consumed fresh and dried. Damascus is a trading center for several varieties of figs.
Australia has many types of native figs that are popular foods for fruit bats and birds. Most native varieties are not attractive for humans, since they are not as sweet as some of the imported species. However, importing figs from other places, and planting them in Australia, is not a productive idea, since most of those figs fail to flower. It turns out that native wasps will pollinate Australian figs, but they leave the imported ones alone. Did you know that the fig is actually a flower, rather than a fruit?
Fruit or flower, how can you incorporate figs into a delicious sandwich meal? Simple and tasty, figs are a sweet food. In a sandwich meal, they make a fantastic finish, instead of serving a heavy, sugar laden dessert!
Here are some tips and ideas for using figs:
*Always wash and gently pat the figs dry just before use.
*Serve 3 or 4 whole figs on individual plates as a finger food. Just bite into the delicately sweet figs!
*Place a small scoop of premium vanilla ice cream into a small bowl or cup. Chop the figs up and put them in a ring around the ice cream.
*In a small dish, slice two figs lengthwise. Drip a small amount of honey over the figs, Scoop some Greek yogurt on top, then drizzle a bit more honey onto the yogurt. Sprinkle with toasted pecans.
*Slice 2-3 figs lengthwise for each person. Place the figs on small individual plates. Drip a bit of honey onto the sliced side of the figs. Then, stuff the center with chevre, or goat cheese. Add a trickle of honey onto the chevre.
Wherever you live, Kansas or South Africa, County Cork or Brazil, enjoy your figs. At the end of this article, there are some sandwich recipes that pair especially well with figs. May your inspired sandwich meals be filled with love and laughter!
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