5 Figs to Know—And How to Use Them

Fig season is almost here (again!). Here's what to know about the five main types of this flowering plant.
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ripe fresh figs with pistachios

You may have seen beautiful baskets of fresh figs at the market this summer, then feared you missed them. But don’t worry—they’ll be back! Fresh figs have two seasons: a short one in early summer followed by a longer one that stretches from late summer until October or November. Most of the fresh figs you’ll find in the supermarket come from California, which grows five main types for shipping across the country. They’re pretty much interchangeable in recipes, but each one has its charms. Check out the list below to get to know these little sweeties.


This is probably the fig you’re most familiar with. Its dark purple skin and pinkish-peach flesh make a striking combo. It has a rich, earthy flavor and is great stuffed with cheese and wrapped in pretty much any pork product (bacon, prosciutto, etc.).

Brown Turkey

Slightly milder-tasting than Mission figs, this variety has light purple skin with a hint of green around the stem. Slice into rounds and use as a topping for a white pizza (just EVOO and cheese).


Pair this mild fig, which has light green skin and deep pink flesh, with something light, like ricotta toast.


These yellowish-green fruits have a creamy texture. Chop them up and toss with some EVOO and a dash of balsamic for a salsa that’s great with chips or for topping fish.


The dark green stripes make this fig stand out from the pack. Show them off by quartering them and adding to a cheese board.

This article originally appeared in our Harvest 2020 issue. Get the magazine here.