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Q: How do I select, eat & store fresh figs?

A: Regardless of the variety, when selecting a fresh fig, pick one with a rich color that is plump without any bruises or broken skin. The fig should have a mild aroma. If the fig smells a little sour, it has started to spoil. Figs should be soft to the touch but not mushy. If the fig appears to be dry and look a bit shriveled, it should be very sweet. Ripe figs should be kept in the refrigerator where they will stay fresh for about two days. Since they easily bruise, store them either arranged on a paper towel-lined plate or shallow container. Keep them covered or wrapped in order to ensure that they do not dry out, get crushed or pick up odors from neighboring foods. Slightly under-ripe figs should be kept on a plate, at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.

To eat fresh figs, wash them in cold water, mop them dry gently using a soft cloth or paper towel.  If taken out from the refrigerator, place figs in a bowl of water to bring them back to normal room temperature which enriches their taste and flavor. The skin of the fig is edible and does not need to be peeled before eating it. Merely twist off the stem and eat the fig – skin and all.  If you do not like the texture of the skin, you can peel it off before eating it. After twisting off the stem, carefully use your fingers to peel away the skin, starting from the exposed top. To enjoy the flavor of the interior without removing the skin, cut the fig in half lengthwise. This exposes the sweet interior fruit which can be scooped out with a small spoon.

Read about the fresh fig varieties we carry at McCaffrey’s at Produce 101!

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Tony Mirack

Director: Produce, Floral and Salad Bar