The Figs of Calabria
One of the nicest aspects of visiting Calabria during the summer and early Fall is the abundance of fresh fruit available and the ease of securing it. Consider, for example, that if you’re lucky enough to own a small parcel of land, and the desire to cultivate it, you’ll be guaranteed seculant peaches, pears, grapes, plums, and figs from March through the beginning of October.
My favorite Calabrian fruit is the fig and while we were lucky enough to eat a few figs during our last week in Pellegrina , we missed the prime fig season by a few weeks. The Dottato fig variety (or Kadota in the US) is the most common in Calabria and is usually found from the 2nd week of August into September (it’s also my personal favorite). The Dottato fig has green skin and a white / golden interior. The flesh is creamy, sweet, and bright tasting. The dottato fig variety is also a good choice for drying.
I find it difficult to buy fresh figs in stores here in the United States as most varieties are hard and not ripe, even at high quality shops. Your best bet for consuming fresh, high quality, figs in the United States is to plant your own tree or try to find them at local farmer’s markets during the summer months (late June into July and August into early October). Ripe figs are soft to the touch and best consumed by themselves after a meal or as a snack (you can also consume figs alongside good quality salumi).