If anyone asks us what our favorite sandwich is the answer is always fig and goat cheese. We picked these figs ourselves from our late Grandpa Bills tree in Arizona which makes them very special. Figs are so naturally sweet that a ripe fig is almost like eating a piece of candy. That must be why birds and ants love fig trees. When we were picking we realized the tree was filled with ants. With a little research we learned that ants can be great pollinators. Figs have a small opening at the end of the fruit that attract ants. They pick up pollen on their feet as they go in search of the figs sweetness and carry it to the next fruit.
Fig trees are deciduous and have large rough leaves, they like hot summers and cool moist winters. They have been around since the earliest recorded history. Figs need to ripen on the tree; ripe fruit are a bit soft and start to bend at the stem. When you pick figs be careful not to bruise them and they only keep for a few days in the refrigerator after picking. We make fig jam with some of ours so we have it all year.
So pick up some sweet figs at your farmers market or grocery store and taste their goodness.
Photo by Meg Smith