What are the different types of figs?
In the beginning, there was the Fig. Some people believe the Fig was the Forbidden Fruit, not the apple. One only needs to think that it’s possibly the sweetest fruit on the planet and to consider the sensual flesh inside the fruit to learn why God Himself may have well forbidden it.
Today there are hundreds of varieties of figs, but only about half a dozen types are cultivated commercially. Here are some of the most common types of figs:
Fresh figs are very fragile (ripe ones usually split open with juicy flesh even when left alone!). This is why local figs are often the only fresh figs you can buy without binding into the world of wilted, semi-spoiled fruits, or, just as bad; fruit picked before it’s ripe. All of the figs varieties are edible in their fresh term.
This Mediterranean fig has a high sugar content, which makes it great for drying and applying in fig bars and fig pastes. The fresh Adriatic fig has light green skin with pale pink flesh. They are unusually light in color, typically a pale green or yellowish-green, getting them the nickname white figs. However, these fruits are delightful and have creamy red flesh inside. Adriatic figs are often candied or eaten on their own due to their excellent flavor.
Black mission figs
They are one of the most common fig varieties in the world, which are originated in Spain. They are relatively small and have solid pink flesh, as well as a sticky and chewy texture that makes them a favorite snack food and ingredient in different sweet products. Despite their title, they aren’t really black—more of a wildly deep blue-purple that is beautiful in its virtue.
Their dark skins make any wilted or gathering from being less-than-fresh quite different, making it all the easier to find perfectly ripe ones. You can see the ripeness scale of black mission figs in the picture above.
Brown Turkey Figs
Brown Turkey figs have a brownish-dark to purple skin, with a milder flavor than other figs, and are noticeably less sweet than the similar-looking Black Mission figs. Inside, they tend to be a lighter pink than other figs.
Brown Turkey figs go well with salads, where their lighter sweetness is a welcome contrast, or in cookies where you can use an additional sweetener.
Calimyrna figs are larger than other figs and have greenish, lightly golden skin. They have stunning pink insides that are made more striking by contrast with their surfaces. Because of their charming interiors, Calimyrnas are a great choice just to cut up and serve as-is. They have a unique nutty flavor. All figs have that nuttiness, of course, which is why they’re so great with nuts, but this type has a greater sense of nut about them.
The most common green type of figs, they are believed to be thousands of years old. Pliny the Elder is said to have commended this variety, known in Italy as the Dotatto. The skin is yellowish-green, and the flesh expressly smooth and silky. It is among the more commonly seen fresh figs in California.
Once figs are harvested, fresh ones last only about a week. As a result, about 90% of the world’s fig product is dried. Even though dried figs do not have the smooth texture of fresh, they offer a compact nutritional package. Most notably, they boast an extraordinary amount of dietary fiber, over nine grams in a (4 figs) serving. Dried figs are also rich in vitamin B6, vitamin E, antioxidant phytochemicals, and potassium.
Although, dried figs are higher in calories than the fresh ones, and most of their calories—about 90 percent of them—are obtained from natural sugar and fructose. But figs are undoubtedly one of the best snacking and dessert foods available. All of the fig varieties are available dried, though the more popular types are Black Mission, Calimyrna, and Kadota.
Here is a picture of other types of figs which are less common:
If you have any questions about figs types, you can ask us in the comments below.