Calimyrna Figs: A Brief Guide to the Delicious Fruit of Paradise

Referred by some as the filet mignon of figs, Calimyrna figs are truly an agricultural wonder to behold. They are incredibly delicious, a nutritional powerhouse, and can be used in a variety of recipes or eaten right out of the hand. If you are looking for a healthy snack alternative, an exotic addition to staple recipes, or just simply a mouth-watering treat, read on to learn more about this fruit and its many benefits.

Where Are They Grown?

As the name would suggest, Calimyrna figs are one of the half dozen varieties of figs grown in California. This particular variety is the California version of the Smyrna fig, which was originally imported by a grower in the San Joaquin Valley.

What Do They Look and Taste Like?

When ripened, these figs are golden yellow skinned with a tender texture, but you will often find them still green in color when purchased at the store. Their shape is reminiscent of a baby pumpkin, with a small nubbin at the top.

Their taste is incredibly sweet, with a nutty flavor to it that lends itself quite readily to many dessert recipes, and makes for an excellent snack right out of the package. Many people choose to eat the dried varieties, which have an even more enhanced sweetness, but there is a pleasing gooey and crunchy texture when eaten while ripened.

Are They Good for You?

Calimyrna figs are incredibly healthy fruits, as are all varieties of figs. Since they are cholesterol-free, sodium-free, and fat-free, these figs are a welcomed addition to almost any special diet. They’re incredibly sweet, and because of this, they serve as a satisfying dessert replacement in high fiber, low fat, weight loss, and even diabetic diets.

For people with digestive issues, these figs can help due to their high fiber content. One serving, about three Calimyrna figs, has 20% of the daily recommended fiber for an adult. This percentage is higher than that of any other common fruit, dried or fresh.

In addition to their high fiber content, figs also have perhaps the highest mineral content of all the common fruits. One serving also contains almost 10% of your daily potassium, 6% of calcium, and 6% of your daily iron as well.

If you do not have access to fresh Calimyrna figs, you can still benefit from the vitamins and minerals found in the dried ones. Just one and a half dried figs equal about one fresh fruit exchange.

How Do I Select and Store Them?

In the summertime months, a variety of special fruits are available, and these figs are no exception. If your local grocer carries them dried, then take them home as is and enjoy them out of the package, or add them to a recipe.

If, however, your store has them fresh, it’s important to know how to select them properly. First off, do not buy already ripened figs. Instead, select figs that are still a little bit green, but mostly yellow.

When you bring them home, do not immediately place them in the refrigerator. Keep them on the counter, and keep a watchful eye on them so you know when they are at their peak ripeness. You can tell they are at the apex of their ripeness when they are almost totally yellow and a little bit of the gooey gum starts to leak from them.

At this point, the fig is at its peak nutritional and flavor level and is ready to enjoy.

How Should I Eat Them?

One of the best things about Calimyrna figs is how versatile they are. For a quick snack, eat them right out of the bag. They can also be stuffed with gorgonzola cheese, put into pastries, or even pulverized and placed in ice cream treats. Be sure to check online for several delicious and nutritious recipes that you and your family will be sure to love.



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