FIGS (Rare and Heritage Fruit Cultivars #13) The taste of a tree-ripened, freshly-picked fig, is sublime. Never judge figs on the specimens available in supermarkets, which are often dry and inferior. A ripe, fresh fig should be tender and slightly soft. When you bite into it, a silky surge of juicy, rich flavour fills your mouth, tasting like jam eaten straight out of the jar - only infinitely more subtle and complex, with overtones of honey and wine. The interior of the fruit is packed with luscious flowerlets lapped in a sweet, glistening syrup. The fruit of the fig tree has been sought out and cultivated by man since ancient times, and is now widely grown throughout the temperate world, both for its fruit and as an ornamental plant. Hundreds of named fig cultivars now exist, but only a handful are commercially grown. Find out more about the amazing heirloom varieties within these pages. This book is one of a series written for 'backyard farmers' of the 21st century. The series focuses on rare and heritage fruit in Australia, although it includes much information of interest to fruit enthusiasts around the world. 'Heritage' or 'heirloom' fruits such as old-fashioned varieties of apple, quince, fig, plum, peach and pear are increasingly popular due to their diverse flavours, excellent nutritional qualities and other desirable characteristics. They are part of our horticultural, vintage and culinary inheritance. To pick a tree-ripened heritage fruit from your own back yard and bite into it is to experience the taste of fresh food as our forefathers knew it. During the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries fruit diversity was huge, but in modern supermarkets only a limited range of commercial fruit varieties is now available to consumers. Heritage, heirloom and rare fruit enthusiasts across the world are currently reviving our horticultural legacy by renovating old orchards and identifying 'lost', unusual and historic fruit varieties. The goal is to make a much wider range of fruit trees available again to the home gardener. This series of handbooks aims to help.