Theyâ€™re a â€˜Figâ€™ Deal! The Culinary World Catches on to Californiaâ€™s Favorite Fruit
The fig has been around for as long as anyone can remember. In ancient Southwestern Asia, Greece, Egypt, and Italy, the fig tree was held as something sacred to the people, and mentions of it can even be found in a Babylonian hymnbook dating back to 2000 B.C. Itâ€™s no surprise that figs spread into California from Mexico in the late 1700â€™s because of the stateâ€™s ideal agricultural conditions, and by 1931, there were more than 57,000 acres of figs, mostly located in the San Joaquin Valley. Today, all of the dried figs that are harvested in the United States are grown in California, producing 28 million pounds over the last five years (California Fig).
Now it seems that the culinary world has spotted something special in this age-old fruit. Last week, members of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and Les Dames dâ€™Escoffier International identified the fig as the number one emerging fruit â€œrelative to increased use and growth in popularityâ€ (California Figs). Culinary arts students all over the country are now using the California fig in dishes, hoping to create something special. The California fig is available year-round, making it versatile and innovative for new recipes throughout the year. Figs are also extremely healthy, providing fiber and aiding in good digestion. It is interesting that figs are now just being recognized for how great they really are.
So, for all you culinary arts students or foodies out there, now is the time to start adding figs to your favorite recipes! California figs could turn your creation in class or at home into a culinary sensation all while supporting one of Californiaâ€™s largest, yet still growing industries.Â Â Whether itâ€™s munching on a few Fig Newtons, adding figs to your baking and pastry masterpiece, or discovering a way to enhance a dinner dish, California figs really are the â€œitâ€ fruit. Check out the link below for a collection of great recipes all involving California figs!
California Fig Advisory Board. Web. 24 Mar. 2011. <http://californiafigs.com/about_figs.php#facts>.
â€œCalifornia Figs Declared â€˜Itâ€™ Fruit by Epicurean Insiders â€” FRESNO, Calif., March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/.â€Â PR Newswire: Press Release Distribution, Targeting, Monitoring and Marketing. 15 Mar. 2011. Web. 24 Mar. 2011. <http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/california-figs-declared-it-fruit-by-epicurean-insiders-118001959.html>.