One of the oldest fruit trees native to the Mediterranean Region, more the Middle East where fig farming dating back to 4000-5000 BC. Fig or Ficus Carica farming in Lebanon is an old agricultural activity spread around the country. During the summer fresh figs are eaten and preserves are prepared for the winter. Jam are made from dry figs and stored all year round. Figs are high in natural sugar. minerals and soluble fibre. They are rich in minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper and are a good sources of antioxidant vitamins A and K that contribute to health and wellness.
1 kg of dried figs, stemmed and cut into half
2 cups of sugar
5 cups of water
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
300g of walnuts roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of rusted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons of anise seeds
3 pinch of mastic gum (optional)
Toast the sesame seed in a dry frying pan on medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon 2 to 3 minutes until slightly brown in colour and set aside.
Using the same pan toast the walnuts 2 to 3 minutes to bring out their earthy flavour and set aside.
In a reasonably sized pot. Add the sugar, lemon juice, water and mastic gum. Stair with a wooden spoon over high heat and bring to a boil.
Add the anise seeds and let it boil for 5 minutes to get the aroma and flavour of the anise seeds.
Add the dry figs to the sugar syrup and let it simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes uncovered.
After 30 minutes add the toasted sesame seeds and the walnuts. Combine well and let is simmer another minute and set aside to cool down.
Transfer to sterilised jars and seal tightly.
Enjoy all year round. Best paired with cheeses. figs mild acidity cuts through creamy cheeses like brie and camembert. Figs sweetness offsets the tanginess of goat cheese. Figs soft texture and sweet flavour balance firm, sharp cheeses like cheddar, parmesan and Asiago. It also softens the earthy funk of Gorgonzola, stilton, and other blue cheeses.