Fresh Figs top the list of seasonal favorites this week at the Summer Certified Farmers’ Market, earning them the Fresh Pick of the Week moniker for the week of July 27th, 2014. Today, Figs grow all over the world in temperate climates, but they originated in the Middle East and throughout western Asia. They have been cultivated, eaten and preserved since ancient times, and were likely one of the very first fruits cultivated by humans during the Neolithic Period (the last part of the Stone Age), when humans are thought to have first begun farming. That puts Figs ahead of other early contenders (like wheat, barley and rye) by over a thousand years!
Several varieties of fresh Figs are available at the market, including Brown Turkey Figs, White Kadota Figs and Black Mission Figs. All of them are lusciously sweet, with a texture that combines the chewiness of their flesh, the smoothness of their skin, and the crunchiness of their seeds. Variation between the varieties relates to the overall sweetness of the flesh. Black Mission Figs tend to be the sweetest, with an almost syrupy sweetness. They are great with cheeses or as a dessert. Brown Turkey Figs are less sweet and have a bright fresh flavor. They work well as appetizers, in salads, or in sweet/savory dishes. White Kadota Figs are favorites with people who prefer a less sweet fig, and enjoy their unique fruity flavor. They pair well with other fruits, Prosciutto and Goat Cheese.
DID YOU KNOW: Figs were so highly regarded in Ancient Greece that their export was forbidden. People found guilty of exporting Figs were prosecuted as criminals.
Price: $ 4 per container or $10 for a 3-pack
Also in Season: Potatoes, Celery, Green Onions, FRESH and DRIED Herbs, Eggs, Dates, Almonds, Oranges, Grapefruit, Chard, Eggplant, Squash, Onions, Garlic, Apples, Shallots, Beets, Green Beans, Carrots, Tomatoes, Green Tomatoes, Peppers, Lettuces, Parsley, Mint, Broccoli, Cabbage, Spinach, Radishes, Leeks, Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus, Cherimoyas, Dates . . . . PLUS, incredible artisan breads, fresh meats, cheese, fresh raw honey, California olives/olive oil/vinegars, and a wide variety of exotic Orchids and flowers.
The Summer Certified Farmers’ Market accepts CalFresh EBT Cards, WIC Farmers’ Market Checks, and Senior Farmers’ Market Checks. The Market also offers Market Bucks that can be purchased using charge cards or cash, then used at the market for purchases.
The Certified Farmers’ Markets are the Coachella Valley’s only State and County Certified Farmers’ Markets. That means all the fruits, vegetables, meats and other products that are on sale at the markets have been grown on California Certified farms. In addition, almost all the farms are located within a 90 mile radius of the markets (thus reducing the carbon footprint), and more than 60% of the products sold are “USDA Certified Organic.”
The Certified Farmers Markets are sponsored by the Palm Springs Cultural Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which was established to encourage the development of the cultural arts in the Coachella Valley with a specific focus in the areas of film, fine art, live performance, dance, music, and community festivals. The Center is dedicated to advancing education, to nurturing community-wide participation in the cultural arts, and to sponsoring scholarship awards for deserving individuals.