Pizza Today - December 2017 - 36

W
INGREDIENTS

hen you're standing in
your pizzeria or restaurant kitchen holding a small, plump
fresh fig in your hand,
three words come to
mind: "What wimpy
fruit." But after you
start cooking with these fleshy wonders,
you'll realize that nothing could be further
from the truth. After all, figs have sustained
the souls of the Egyptian pharaohs into the
afterlife. Buddha received enlightenment
under a fig tree and the Romans even started wars for this amazing fruit. In the past,
most Americans in colder climates only
knew figs to be the filling in Fig Newtons,
but now many intrepid restaurateurs are
catching "fig fever."
The fig originated in Asia Minor
100 million years ago. Early Greek and
Roman goose breeders fed geese figs to
give their livers an unctuously sweet flavor.
Africans and Spaniards dried their fruit
and arranged it in star patterns to enjoy

in the depths of winter. For centuries, the
white Dottato figs in Calabria have been
wrapped in the fig leaves from the same
tree and baked, releasing an intense flavor.
In 1520, Spanish missionaries introduced
figs to California, which have been bred
into the wonderfully plump "Mission Figs."
Let's delve into this sweet fruit.

Pulp Fig-tion
Here is a quick rundown on popular
types of fresh figs available from July to
October. (Some say they're available from
June through December, but good luck
with that.)
Black Mission: Small, black skin, lots of
seed crunch, sweet, pink flesh.
Sierra: New variety with yellow-green
skin, sweet and mildly creamy interior.
Calimyrna: Nutty with lots of seed
crunch, ripe purple flesh usually splits the
fruit open, great on the grill.
Kadota: Also known as the Dotatto in
Italy, with yellowish skin and silky flesh.

Fig Jammin'
Because figs are very fragile, the harvest
time is so short and they don't grow in
colder climates, people have manipulated
them by drying, grinding and jamming
them in many different ways. Because I
use copious amounts of fig jams to create
an "agro dolce" (Italian for sweet and sour)
effect with stinky cheeses, I've found that
it is easier to thin the jams out with water
to deliver a nice stream on pizza. Here are
some great jams of the world.
Maakoud is a thick and chunky sundried fig jam from Lebanon and is made
from rough chopped figs, sesame seeds, a
touch of fennel and sugar. Its intense fig
taste is complemented by the fennel and
sesame perfectly. This is hard to use on
pizzas, but perfect for an appetizer platter
of cheeses and charcuterie. This product
runs at 25 cents an ounce.
Turkish fig jam is available from the
preserves of the dried green fig and tends
to be very sweet with sugar as its second


http://caputocheese.com http://caputocheese.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - December 2017

Pizza Today - December 2017
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Conversation
Man on the Street
Respecting the Craft
Respecting the Craft
At Your Service
Destinations
Destinations
Knead to Know
Pizza & Pasta Northeast Recap
Road to Pizza Expo
Menu Guide
2018 Menu Guide
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Mike’s Monthy Tip
Pizza Today - December 2017 - CT1
Pizza Today - December 2017 - CT2
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Pizza Today - December 2017
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Cover2
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Commentary
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 4
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 5
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 6
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 7
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Contents
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 9
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Contributors
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 11
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 13
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Interact
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 15
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Conversation
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 17
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 19
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Respecting the Craft
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 21
Pizza Today - December 2017 - At Your Service
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 23
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Destinations
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 25
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 27
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 28
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 29
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 30
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 31
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 32
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 33
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 34
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 35
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 36
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 37
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 38
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 39
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 40
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 41
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 42
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 43
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Pizza & Pasta Northeast Recap
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 45
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Road to Pizza Expo
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 47
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 48
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 49
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 2018 Menu Guide
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 51
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 52
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 53
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 54
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 55
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 56
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 57
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 58
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 59
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 60
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 61
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 62
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 63
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 64
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 65
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 66
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 67
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 68
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 69
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 70
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 71
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 72
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 73
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 74
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 76
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 77
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 79
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 80
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 81
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 82
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 83
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 84
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 85
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 86
Pizza Today - December 2017 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 88
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 89
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 90
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 91
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 92
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 93
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 94
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 95
Pizza Today - December 2017 - 96
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Mike’s Monthy Tip
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Cover3
Pizza Today - December 2017 - Cover4
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