Demand for the fruit has increased in part thanks to the growing popularity of Middle Eastern dishes.
This year, Waitrose is introducing a brand new fig variety to its No.1 range; the Spanish Cuello de Dama variety is known for its full flavour, delicate skin and jam-like consistency. The fig has a longer neck, inspiring its name which translates as ‘collar of a lady’.; This variety will be in season until the first frost in Spain, usually sometime in November.
Waitrose fig buyer, Jake Tilling, says: ‘Customer demand for in season figs has been growing and so we’ve been on the lookout for the most delicious figs we could find. The Cuello de Dama variety is the best I’ve tasted; the texture is exceptional and incredibly jammy. Figs are brilliantly versatile - delicious as a snack on their own, or used in a wide variety of sweet and savoury dishes.’
Food writer Georgina Hayden shares three fig recipes in this month’s Waitrose Food magazine. She says: ‘Having grown up in a Greek Cypriot family, I’m passionate about figs. As soon as they were in season, my yiasyias (grandmothers) would buy them by the bagful. They’d peel off any tough skin, open and inspect them before dishing them out. These days, I love the Turkish figs you can buy over here. I often roast them with feta or halloumi: they turn deliciously jammy, almost like an instant preserve.’