Boosted by the popularity of Middle Eastern dishes and consumers' preference to eat savory, healthy food, the retailer Waitrose is reporting that sales of fresh figs have increased by 52% year over year.
"Having grown up in a Greek Cypriot family, I’m passionate about figs. As soon as they were in season, my yiasyias (grandmothers) would buy them by the bagful," says Food writer Georgina Hayden shares three fig recipes in this month’s Waitrose Food magazine. "They’d peel off any tough skin, open and inspect them before dishing them out. These days, I love the Turkish figs you can buy over here. I often roast them with feta or halloumi: they turn deliciously jammy, almost like an instant preserve.’
This year, Waitrose is introducing a brand new fig variety to its No.1 range; the Spanish Cuello de Dama variety is known for its full flavour, delicate skin and jam-like consistency. The fig has a longer neck, inspiring its name which translates as ‘collar of a lady’.; This variety will be in season until the first frost in Spain, usually sometime in November.
Waitrose fig buyer, Jake Tilling, says: ‘Customer demand for in season figs has been growing and so we’ve been on the lookout for the most delicious figs we could find. The Cuello de Dama variety is the best I’ve tasted; the texture is exceptional and incredibly jammy. Figs are brilliantly versatile - delicious as a snack on their own, or used in a wide variety of sweet and savoury dishes.’
And figs contain more fiber than prunes, more calcium than milk and more potassium than bananas, plus they are rich in antioxidants, and a good source of magnesium.
Though displaying figs can be a challenge during the pandemic, retailers can educate consumers about the flavor profile of fig. In-store signs, therefore, are extremely beneficial, particularly those featuring healthy snacking and nutritional messaging such as: Gluten-free, a Whole Fruit Snack, and with No Added Sugar.