Whether you choose fresh or dried figs, these small fruits are among the most flavorful that you're likely to find. Figs have a distinctive appearance and flavor and have been one of the fruits that mankind has eaten for the longest periods of time. Figs are available in most Mediterranean climates and naturally grow in Turkey, the Middle East, and parts of the United States like California.
Today, figs are available everywhere. You may be able to find both dried figs and fresh figs in your local grocery store, depending upon where you are. If you're far away from a Mediterranean climate or if you're in a remote area, you may only find dried figs. Fortunately, both of these types of figs are beneficial for your health and contain a wide mixture of different nutrients. However, if you have the option to choose one type of fig or the other, it can be helpful to learn about the differences between these two.
Fresh figs contain a wider mixture of different nutrients than their dried counterparts. They are therefore more beneficial to your health, and have a number of additional vitamins and nutrients in them. Furthermore, many people prefer the taste and texture of fresh figs to that of dried figs; they have a stronger and sweeter flavor and they are juicier.
Fresh figs do have a downside, however, in that they will generally only remain good and viable for about 2 to 3 days after they've been picked from the ficus tree. Because of this, fresh figs must be eaten quickly or else you run the risk of them going bad. It is for this reason that many grocery stores that are in remote areas or that don't have regular access to shipments of foods will not carry fresh figs.
Fresh figs are more readily baked into different baked goods than dried figs are, although both will work properly.
Dried figs are by far the more common of the two types of figs in most United States cooking. These figs have a unique texture and a sweet flavor that makes them a great snack for anyone at any age. They are easy to digest and break down, and dried figs typically do not contain any added sugars (unlike many other dried fruits). Additionally, dried figs have the major benefit of being well preserved. Dried figs can be stored for an extended period of time without running the risk of going bad.
It's easy to dry your own figs at home. If you're interested in comparing the two types of figs to determine which you prefer, by a large quantity of fresh figs. Test some out, then dry the rest in the oven or in the sun. There are a number of different sets of instructions on how to do this, none of them requiring much by way of equipment.