Figs are used extensively in Mediterranean and Middle East cooking. You may have heard of Italian sweets such as Fig and Ricotta Tarts, Fig and Pistachio Biscotti and of course Italian Fig Cookies. But they are also used for more savory foods, such as this Pork Tenderloin marinated in an onion and fig mixture and then served over couscous with an onion and fresh fig sauce.
If you can get them, there is nothing quite like the unique taste and texture of a fresh fig. They can be eaten whole, skin, seeds and flesh. Since fresh figs are one of the most perishable fruits, they should be purchased only a day or two in advance of when you are planning on eating them. Look for figs that have a rich, deep color and are plump and tender, but not mushy. Ripe figs should be kept in the refrigerator where they will stay fresh for about two days. California figs are available from June through September; while some European varieties are available through autumn.
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