Dried Figs

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I’ve mentioned in previous posts that Greece tends to be slightly warm in the summer.  Or should I say stinking hot?  Greek farmers have a long history of utilizing this August heat to preserve perishable fruits and vegetables for the upcoming winter. As I explored the villages, forests, and fields of northern Evia, it seemed as though I had arrived just in time for the abundant harvest of figs, or sika as they are called in Greek. Figs are super sweet, almost obscenely sweet and very much prone to go soft and mushy almost before your eyes. That is why most of us hailing from a more northern geographic region have never had the pleasure of plucking one off the tree and savouring it’s aforementioned sweetness. As I stopped to admire a particularly tempting field of drying figs I imagined that despite the advent of modern machinery, this process has not changed much since antiquity. Laid upon the soil was a large sheet of burlap canvas and upon the canvas lay the figs, slowly drying in the heat, concentrating the already sweet fruit into what eventually will become your fig newton. Fresh or dried figs are a real treat and enjoyed in both sweet and savoury dishes throughout the late summer and into the fall.

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