Chef Robert Del Grande’s Love Letter to California Figs

Sponsored by California Figs

As a youth growing up in California, I thought that figs were little miracles that grew on trees. California Figs – how miraculous! Sweet and luscious with a mesmerizing flavor. Today, when I see California Figs in the market, I’m transported back to my youthful days of plucking a ripe fig from a tree and being transformed by that first bite. And with each bite, my mind still fills with a thousand possibilities for delicious sweet or savory dishes – from Prosciutto-Wrapped California Figs to California Fig and Fudge Cookie Sundaes.

Later in life, I became acquainted with California Dried Figs – little preserved miracles – and California Dried Fig Ingredients – whole, pieces (diced or extruded), paste, powder and juice concentrate. I always keep California Dried Figs on hand to add a taste of magic to my favorite recipes – a few figs to a tomato sauce for some additional richness or some figs to elevate a simple dish of sautéed carrots.

Different forms of figs produce different possibilities; diced figs, for example, are consistent in size and shape and elevate baked goods with their premium appearance, while the paste has beautiful coloring and adds flavor and fiber to snacks, sauces and condiments. Because of their variation in flavor and appearance, I utilize figs not only to add another level of flavor to a dish, but also visual appeal. For instance, paired with bright green arugula, California Figs are stunning on a flatbread. On the breakfast menu, Loaded Almond Butter Toast with California Figs offers an upgraded “PB & J” flavor profile, with a protein boost and an “Instagrammable” look.

In the end, California Figs – either fresh or dried – are not to be missed. They can be a marvelous enhancement to almost any sweet or savory dish – breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert.

So cook more flavorfully with California Figs!