Figs are the only fruit to fully ripen to complete sweetness and semi-dry right on the tree before falling to the ground to continue drying.
After harvest, the figs are inspected and packaged. Packaging includes rings of figs tightly packed and over-wrapped, moisture-proof bags, wrapped finger packs, plastic cups or bulk. California figs are generally found in the produce or baking section of your favorite supermarket.
Figs are harvested in the late summer and early fall, but because they are dried and conveniently packaged, they are available all year long.
There are literally hundreds of fig varieties, but only about half a dozen are grown commercially in California, dried and packaged for the consumer and industrial markets
Calimyrna Figs - Noted for its delicious nut-like flavor and tender, golden skin, the Calimyrna fig is the popular favorite for eating out of hand. As the name implies, the Calimyrna is the California version of the Smyrna fig imported by a San Joaquin Valley grower.
Mission Figs - Numerous plantings by the Spanish missionaries as they traveled northward from Mexico along the California coast that gave it a name, the Mission fig is famous for its distinctive flavor. The fresh fruit exhibits a deep purple color which darkens to a rich black when dried, making this fig an esthetic, as well as an edible, delight in all recipes.
Kadota Figs - The Kadota fig, an American version of the original Italian Dattato, is thick-skinned and possesses a beautiful creamy amber color when ripe. Practically seedless, this fig is a favorite for canning and preserving as well as drying.
Adriatic Figs - Transplanted from the Mediterranean, the Adriatic fig is the most prolific of all the varieties. The high sugar content, retained as the fruit dries to a golden shade, make this fig the prime choice for fig bars and pastes.