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Friday, 23 September 2011

Fig


Growing the Common fig (Ficus carica) in the continental climate conditions is quite a challenge. Figs in the mediterranean areas of Croatia are quite common. They grow there in almost every garden, very often together with it's family relative Mulberry. Fig prefers warm climate but can also be found in continental climate with hot summers just as it is here where I live. Though, it needs a well drained soil and somewhat protected position.

A fig tree in the garden of my friend.

In my garden, the growing conditions are not good for it. The one I had used to get frozen every Winter and I had to cut it down to the ground every Spring. It was really annoying and I finally eradicated it. But, my aunt, who has a small walled garden enjoys fresh fruit every summer. Her fig is planted in the corner of the garden near the house. Protected from the coldness and harsh winds, it reached the balcony on the first floor from where we picked up some fruits. Visiting her the other day resulted with these figs on my photo.

This white sap may be an irritant to the human skin.

 I simply love fresh fig fruits. Traditionally, figs are being dried because the fresh fruit doesn't keep well. The Common fig belongs to the Moraceae family. This family includes some of the well known plants such as the Mulberry, Breadfruit, Fig, Banyan. One of the characteristics of this family is the presence of laticifers, elongated excretory cells that produce milky sap - latex or rubber.
Some plants of the genus Ficus we keep as house plants. Commonly they are Ficus benjamina and Ficus elastica.


Try this recipe for Fig Balls. I always make them for Christmas. 


Ingredients:

25 dag dried figs        (1 dekagram  = 0.352 ounces)
10 dag sugar
12 dag grounded walnuts
1 orange, zest + juice
a bit of rum, lemon zest
Get the figs through the meat grinder, add walnuts, sugar, rum, orange and lemon zest and as much orange and lemon juice as to get the compact workable mixture. Make the small balls out of it and coat them with sugar.

6 comments:

  1. I just bought my first fig tree and am trying to decide where to plant it. I am looking forward to having figs, and then I will be able to make your recipe - it sounds delicious!

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  2. Fig trees grow like weeds here. I have three of them but have yet to get figs from them. Two are too small and one is too big. I have, however, gone to my friends house right up the dirt road and picked figs from her 3 trees. I made fig jam with them which my daughter loved. The fig balls look really good too.

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  3. I love figs, but I cannot imagine fresh figs.

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  4. Our fig is playing dead - I've drafted a post about it but it's waiting in the wings to be published

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  5. For me the perfect combination is fresh figs, feta cheese, honey and brioche! I just LOVE fresh figs. The dried ones are nowhere near as nice.

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  6. Mark, I agree with you. I just had them yesterday for dinner with cheese and grapes. You'd be surprised how many people prefer dried figs though!

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