Four ways of enjoying a fruit
When the sun giftes us with the last rays of summer, fig trees blossom with their fruit and full their branches with this valued product. The fig from Málaga is found in several varieties (dry, pajeros and fig bread) and has managed to root in Spanish gastronomy with these entirely made in Málaga products. The fig, as a fruit, appears in fig trees from the end of August to the beginning of September. This tree is characterised for being resistant and for adapting to all types of land, although it is specially common in the Mediterranean area.
The fig from Málaga, traditionally, has been the one of the verdejo variety and is known for its dark colour, red flesh and thin skin. The verdejo fig takes longer to grow than the rest of varieties. The fig tree produces more fruit than we consume and that is the main reason why Spain has used figs to create new recipes and flavours in order to waste those left figs. Moreover, the fig is a fruit that goes bad quickly if it is not eaten quicklu. Málaga is famous for its dried figs, pajero figs and fig bread.
Other fig products
The dry fig is a fruit that, as its name suggest, has been left to dry. The process is often carried out naturally, by leaving the figs that have fallen from the branches in the sun, although it is also common to let dry the ones collected by hand. The province of Málaga has all the idial conditions for the production of this dried fruit, since they need to be left in the sun and be exposed to high temperatures. Pajeros figs are traditional in Málaga and they are similar to dried figs. The main difference between them is that the pajero fig has a softer skin and a much sweeter taste. They are also different in size: they are normally similar or smaller than the rest of dried figs.
Fig bread from Málaga
Farmers from Málaga adopted the Arabic tradition of making fig bread with the figs that were not consumed. This product consists of a thick dough made entirely with figs (it does not include flour, wheat or any other ingredients traditionally used to make bread) and sometimes it can contain other nuts or dried fruit. Although it can be found throughout the whole province, the fig bread from Coín is particularly known.
The fig is a fruit that is known for its high energy intake. When it is dried and becomes dried fig, its qualities increase: dried figs have more calcium, more calories and more carbohidrates than fresh figs. People invested in sport are now eating dried figs daily and hikers eat them instead of energy bars, since they stay fresh under any contition.
It is difficult to preserve fresh figs in good conditions before they go bad. One of the best solutions is to turn this fresh fruit into big doughs of fig bread to make the product last for a year. Fig bread from Málaga is characterised by its high energy content, thus farmers and peasants consumed big quantities of figs in order to be able to face the long days in the countryside.
Fresh figs are highly consumed during summer months in the afternoon, as a dessert or a snack. Its flavour has also been added to other products such as yogurts, smoothies, ice cream or liqueuers. Dried figs, on the contrary, are normally used as a side dish for meat, fruit and dessert, although it can be consumed on its own too. Fig bread is a common product during the whole year, but it is specially consumed during Christmas.