Figs (Figues)

Random facts about figs in France, how to serve them, what are sweetest, and links to easy, healthy French fig recipes

boxes of figs at the French market

Fig Season

Late summer/beginning Autumn: end August and all September. Sometimes until the beginning of October.

Random Facts About Figs in France

  • The French love their fresh figs. According to the French Ministry of Agriculture, 3340 tons of figs were harvested in France in 2020;
  • La Quintinye, Louis XIV’s botanist at Versailles found a way to produce figs all year round. See much more in my article on the King’s Vegetable Garden (Potager du Roi). There are now 700 fig trees in the shadow of La Figuerie building in Versailles;
  • According to the botanists at the Potager du Roi in Versailles, figs are not fruits as such but inversed flowers;
  • What is the sweetest fig in France? According to Truffaut, a French garden centre, they have a whole range of figs that are grown in France. La Noire de Caromb is the sweetest variety. Quality figs such as la figue de Solliès, grown in the Var, are known for their particular sweetness and floral notes;
  • How to serve fresh figs: in his Guide to Modern Cookery, Philippe Escoffier instructs his chefs and readers to “Place them on a layer of very green leaves, and surround them with broken ice“;
  • Fig storage: outside fridge for 4 days or a week in the fridge.

bowl of fresh figs and orange on green fig leaves

What Goes Well With Figs?

  • Fresh figs are a perfect match with cheeses. Serve some quartered on a cheeseboard – particularly good with goat’s cheese. For strong cheeses (particularly those from Corsica), enjoy with this fig jam;
  • According to French food scientist, Raphaël Haumont, figs have about 300 molecules that make up their distinctive taste, so figs go well with other foods with the same kinds of molecules such as coffee, bacon, carrots, oranges, apricots, ginger, cinnamon, pears, apples
  • So, ideal as decoration chopped on top of desserts and cakes (e.g. carrot cakes, sticky orange caramel cake, French apple crumble cake, Tiramisu);
  • Delicious roasted and cut into thin slices for fig tarts (see my recipe in Teatime in Paris).

Fig Recipes and Serving Ideas

Dessert recipes

From the market

From the kitchen