The fig is commonly called a fruit, but botanically it is an infructescence–a type of multiple fruit. The fleshy structure is called the syconium and is lined internally with numerous unisexual flowers. A small opening is visible on the middle of the fruit and provides a narrow passage that allows the specialized fig wasp to enter and pollinate the flowers. When the flowers are fertilized, they develop into seeds that line the inside of each fig at maturity.
Figs are one of the first plants that were cultivated by humans. Subfossil figs have been found dating to about 9400-9200 BCE in the Jordan Valley—preceding the domestication of wheat, barley, and legumes. The early Greeks prized figs so highly that in the original Olympic Games, it was a fig leaf wreath that crowned victors! Figs were introduced to California by the end of the 19th century when population was growing after the gold rush. It became apparent that California had ideal fig growing conditions, with its Mediterranean-like climate and San Francisco’s latitude lining up with Smyrna, Turkey.
Figs are high in potassium, iron, fiber, and plant calcium. Figs have a sweet, honeyed taste and a soft, squishy texture studded with seeds that give it a crunch. There are hundreds of varieties of figs, but the most common are Black Mission and Brown Turkey. The Breva crop has just begun–a short bonus crop that begins at the beginning of summer produced on the previous year’s shoot growth. The main crop starts in late summer.
New & Exciting!:
- Alexander Lucas Pear*: Limited availability. Distinctly short and rounded shape with a green russeted exterior. White flesh is dense, juicy, and buttery smooth. Tastes sweet with a complex and delicate flavor.
- Blenheim Apricot: Golden coloring on outer skin. Free stone. Flesh is aromatic with a rich, dark orange color. Complex and perfectly balanced sweet-tart flavor with notes of honey.
- Delicata Squash: California-grown and in good supply. Small to medium in size. Cylindrical shape with grooved skin and lines that run the length of the squash. Thin, yellow edible skin. Flesh is firm, thick, fine-grained, and yellow to orange colored. Central hollow cavity contains stringy pulp and seeds. When cooked, tastes sweet, rich, and moist.
- Fig*: Black Mission, Brown Turkey, and Cal-Sierra figs are in somewhat good supply. Breva crop availability is expected to last a few short weeks. Black Mission figs have a purplish-black skin with bright red flesh that tastes rich. Brown Turkey figs have a rusty red to purplish skin and richly pink toned flesh that tastes sweet and honeyed. Cal-Sierra figs have a yellow-green exterior with creamy flesh that tastes sweet and mild.
- Fresno Chili Pepper: Two to three inches long, slightly curved, with smooth skin. Matures from green to red. Similar to the jalapeno, but has thinner walls and milder heat. Excellent source of vitamin C and B, iron, thiamin, niacin, magnesium, and riboflavin. They are low in calories, fat, and sodium and help reduce cholesterol.
Did you know…in 1952 Clarence Brown Hamlin named the chili “Fresno” in honor of Fresno, California? Fresno County’s growing region is the largest, most productive stretch of agricultural land on the continent!
- Lime: California-grown fruit is starting up. Mexican fruit has softer pricing as availability increases.
- Rainier Cherry*: Extremely limited supply. Plump, rounded, and slightly heart-shaped. Exterior has golden hues blushed with tones of pink and red. Flesh is a pale golden color with red streaks near the skin and seed. Flavor is very sweet with their unparalleled high sugar level and low acidity.
- Romano Bean: Broad and flattened in shape. Averaging five inches in length. Pod clings loosely to a series of tiny lime green to white colored peas. Juicy, sweet flavor and great crunch. Can be used in raw and cooked applications. Great source of dietary fiber.
- Spring Bright Nectarine*: Ruby external color and bright yellow flesh interior. Tastes sweet with a touch of tart.
- Black Plum*: Dark purple skin and deep scarlet flesh. Sweet and juicy flavor. Sharp pricing.
- Cherry Tomato*: Open pints are in good supply and available in Juliette, mixed medley, and Sungold varieties. These make striking displays and are very easy for customers to grab. Juliette cherry tomatoes are an unusual, elongated shape. They have glossy red skin and taste sweet. Sungold cherry tomatoes are small in size with a bright orange color. They have an exceptionally sweet and fruity flavor.
- Cucumber: Slicer cucumber in good supply with sharp pricing.
- Galia Melon*: In great supply from our exclusive grower Rundle Family Farm. Yellow skin is covered in light golden-tan netting. Flesh is pale green with a succulent texture and a signature spicy sweet flavor with tropical aromatics.
- Green Bell Pepper*: California-grown and in great supply.
- Heirloom Tomato: Mixed heirlooms from Comanche Creek Farms are looking strong with good supply.
- Kale: In very strong supply.
- Okra*: Red and green varieties in good supply. Red okra adds a colorful touch to summer displays. Red coloring disappears when cooked. Okra has a torpedo-shaped pod that bears a tender spongy membrane with many small white seeds inside. Okra has a sticky sap that creates the flesh’s gelatinous texture. Great source of vitamins C and A, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and fiber.
- Pluot: Very sharp pricing and tasting great.
- Retail Greens*: Jayleaf has strong supply of 1lb and 5oz clamshells. Clamshells include Wild Arugula, Baby Spinach, Kale, and Spring Mix varieties.
- Tomatillo: California-grown and in great supply.
- Watermelon: Seedless and seeded bins from our exclusive grower Rundle Family Farms are in great supply.
- Zucchini: In plentiful supply.
- Broccoli: Very limited in supply.
- Cauliflower: Limited in supply with high prices.
- Kabocha Squash: Gapping as growing regions transition.
- Leek: Limited in supply.
- Mushroom: Shiitake and oyster mushrooms are in tight supply. High demand is outpacing production.
- Russet Potato: Extremely limited as demand remains high.
- Snap Pea: Very limited in supply with high prices.
- Tofu: Hodo Soy’s 10-ounce firm tofu continues to be limited due to production issues.
Done for the Season:
- B&J Ranch Grapefruit
- Premier Star Apple