Figs are a popular fruit and can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried. If you have some fresh figs that are not yet ripe, you can ripen them at home by placing them in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana. Place the bag on a countertop and check it every few days. When the fruit has reached its desired level of ripeness, remove it from the bag and eat it immediately or refrigerate it for up to two weeks.
Are you one of those people who have a fig tree in your backyard? Congratulations, you are lucky! But, I’m afraid that might not be enough. Why? Because the reason why most people struggle with different types of fruit is that they pick them unripe. To be honest, nobody has time to wait when it comes to enjoying delicious fruits, especially figs. So, let us discuss how you can ripen figs at home.
Green figs are unripe.
An unripe fig is green and hard to the touch. It will not ripen off of the tree, so you should harvest it at a ripe stage. A ripe fig is soft and brownish-black in color. It’s ready to eat.
If you want to tell if a fig is ripe by its smell, place your nose right up against the fruit and give it a sniff; if there’s any sweetness in there at all, your nose will find it out. If you’re looking for another easy way to check for ripeness, taste one, if it tastes sweet and juicy, then chances are good that this sweet treat was definitely meant for consumption.
When To Harvest Figs
The best time to harvest figs is when they’re ripe. The ripened fruit is sweeter, more flavorful, and easier to digest than hard fruit. Additionally, ripe figs are more nutritious because their nutrients have broken down into soluble fiber that can be absorbed by the body.
So when does a fig become ripe? The best way to determine if your figs are ready for harvest is by examining the color of the skin around its stem end (known as calyx). When immature, this area will be green or purple in hue; once it turns brownish-black or dark brown, it’s time to pick.
Put the figs in a paper bag.
Putting your figs in a paper bag will help them ripen.
- Take the figs out of their container, and put them in a paper bag.
- Place the paper bag on top of your refrigerator or freezer (or something similar). Leave them there for at least 2-3 days. The paper bag helps keep moisture from escaping while still allowing the fruit to breathe, which is necessary if you want to ripen it naturally instead of using chemicals or other artificial methods that might damage its taste and quality.
- After 2 days have passed, remove each piece from its own respective layer and place them back into their original container until you’re ready to eat them.
Add some bananas for faster ripening.
If you want to ripen your figs more quickly, add a banana to the bag. Bananas give off ethylene gas and will help your figs ripen faster. Once the figs are ripe, remove the banana from the bag; remember that bananas can go bad if left in too long after they’re ripe.
- Note: If you don’t have any bananas handy, try nipping off a small piece of an unripe fig and placing it into your bag—this should have somewhat of an effect on ripening your other fruit as well.
How Long Should Figs Be Stored
How long do figs last?
Figs will keep for about a week at room temperature if they are left in their original packaging or in an airtight container. You can also keep them longer by storing them in the refrigerator, where they will last for about two weeks. Figs can be frozen for up to six months if you choose to freeze them uncut and unwashed first before sealing them tightly in an airtight container or freezer bag. Figs that have already been cut may not last as long when stored in the fridge, as there is more surface area exposed to the air than with whole fruits. The cut ends of the figs will dry out faster over time and spoil quicker than whole figs stored at similar temperatures.
How to Eat Figs?
The obvious way to eat figs is to simply cut them in half, remove the seed and enjoy. You can also slice them into small pieces for a salad or diced them for an appetizer. Figs are also delicious when cooked, especially if you roast them with walnuts and balsamic vinegar.
If you’re looking for a more unusual way of serving figs at your next brunch, try cutting them into bite-sized pieces and adding them to your favorite muffin recipe.
Keep the stem side up until they are ripe.
If you’re going to store fresh figs, keep them stem side up. The stems help keep the figs from drying out as quickly and also allow for better air circulation. It’s important not to refrigerate them, though; it will cause them to go bad faster.
Keep in mind that some varieties of figs are better at keeping longer than others, you may have noticed this at the grocery store! Some can last for weeks on end in your produce drawer whereas others won’t last more than a few days even if stored correctly. As an example, Black Mission Figs usually only keep for about 3-4 days before going bad but Brown Turkey Figs will keep for several weeks after ripening properly.
So there you have it. There are some amazing ways to ripen figs. And the best part? Most of these methods can also be used to ripen other fruits. Bon Appetit.