Just over a week into December, plenty of predictions for 2018 have already rolled in, and – no offense to the fruit best known for its association with the Newton – figs have been nowhere to be found. Neither Whole Foods nor Waitrose name-dropped the fig. Christina Tosi did not suggest that figs will be found in every dessert next year. Heck, the National Restaurant Association didn’t even ask chefs about figs for its hot menu trends report.
Fig has already been trending upward for some time. “A true feel-good flavor, fig is becoming increasingly popular with consumers, with fig flavored products growing by more than 80% between 2012 and 2016,” said Chris Millington. “With its numerous health benefits and sweet and satisfying flavor profile, fig offers endless opportunities to inspire our customers and delight their consumers across a wide range of food categories.”
As far as the fruit’s health benefits, the fig’s high fiber content and essential minerals which included magnesium, manganese, calcium and potassium. Plus, the company says the naturally sweet fruit makes for a great sugar substitute.
However, when it comes to that all-important taste, figs are touted for their inherent “contradictions.” “It is naturally sweet, yet extremely complex”. “It is meaty and gritty, but can also melt in your mouth.” For these reasons, figs can be versatile and inspire creative uses. “From a flavor point of view it can be translated into fruity, jammy, floral, green, leafy, coumarinic, woody, winey, and sulfury dimensions,” elaborated a Flavorist.
Figs are seen as both “authentic” and “artisanal” with a “timeless” connection to the past – all of which make the fig very on trend. “Pomegranate, olive, dates, and fig were all on the rise and have continued to gain traction in recent years, but there is something about fig that we feel is special to this moment in time,”