How does fruit figure into your restaurant’s menu? Whether you serve them in jams, fruit salads, or tarts, you can’t afford to overlook the fig. As journalist Ben Crair wrote in an article for The New Yorker, “they are, in fact, something awesome: enclosed flowers that bloom modestly inward, unlike the flamboyant showoffs on other plants. Bite a fig in half and you’ll discover a core of tiny blossoms.”
So why are these beautiful, secret bouquets suddenly so popular? Here are 3 reasons we stopped worrying and learned to love the fig:
1. Health Benefits
Figs are one of the healthiest ingredients on the market. They’re a good source of essential minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese. They also contain vitamin K and vitamin B6, and are high in fiber. Their fiber content helps regulate digestion, and may also decrease the chance of breast cancer.
Both the fruits themselves and the leaves of the plant have health benefits. For example, the leaves are antidiabetic. The fruit – in addition to its impressive vitamin, fiber, and mineral content – is naturally antifungal, and a powerful antioxidant. Taken altogether, these factors add up to heart health. High potassium lowers blood pressure, and antioxidants help prevent atherosclerosis.
Unlike most other fruits, the health benefits of figs only increase when they’re dried. (You’ll find almost as much calcium in a single dried fig as in a whole egg.) This means you can serve figs in an especially wide variety of dishes – from fruit tarts to the increasingly popular fig toast. Their health benefits will appeal to health-conscious Millennials and Baby Boomers alike, and even the older generations looking for a great taste that keeps them feeling fine.
Whether you’re sprinkling dried figs over a bed of arugula or baking fresh ones into a pie, these trending fruits should definitely fig-ure into your 2018 menu. The more your guests learn about how healthy figs can be, the more excited they are to order them.
3. Rising Popularity
“Fig-flavored products [grew] by more than 80% between 2012 and 2016” says Chris Millington, head of the Firmenich Flavor Division. As older generations long for simpler times, they’re looking to the flavors that were popular when they were young. For your younger diners, the simple but satisfying fig is a healthy treat. No matter who you serve the most, the flavor of the year will make a magni-fig-cent impression on your guests.