Hey, I never claimed to be Martha Stewart or Geez Louise. And these pics are prime proof I have neither the primping patience or preening prowess to turn a Calimyrna fig into Miss California. Not when I've gone and squandered all my OCD on alliteration. So when the California Fig Advisory Board gave me a flat of fresh figs (my fave), I whipped out my organic, fair trade chocolate chips and jumped hastily in the hazelnut sandbox. I only spent five minutes playing dolly dress-up, but those juicy girls draped in rich chocolate and roasted hazels tasted like an hour. And since this winning combination is like a pageant on the palate, I am proud to present this year's Miss Cali Myrna. She may not be as coiffed as my Chocolate-covered Mint Leaves and Chocolate-dipped Apricots, but enough about her makeup. It's what's on the inside that counts.
Chocolate-Dipped Figs with Hazelnuts
4 - 6 Calimyrna figs (or other type)
1/3 cup organic, fair-trade semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup roasted hazelnuts, crushed
Melt the chips in a double boiler or in a small bowl in the microwave on medium power in 30-second intervals until melted. Dip half of a fig into the chocolate, and sprinkle the nuts over the chocolate area. Lay the nut-encrusted fig on a sheet of wax or parchment paper to set. Will last a few days unrefrigerated in a covered container.
- The U.S. is ranked 3rd in world production of dried figs.
- California produces 100% of the nation’s dried figs and 98% of the fresh figs.
- There has been a steady increase in demand for organic figs.
- Since figs are not sprayed, the biggest difference between conventional and organic is how the ground cover is handled, ie: fertilizers, etc.
- The extra cost for organic figs is the labor-related use of weed trimmers instead of herbicides for weed control.
- Fresh fig season starts in mid-May and continues through mid-December (Calimyrna season ends in September).
- The Calimyrna is a descendant of the Smyrna fig grown in Turkey.
- California has five varieties of figs: Black Mission, Calimyrna, Kadota, Brown Turkey and Sierras.
California Fig Advisory Board
Fig Growers Adjust to Meet Demand for Organic