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If you've made the same mistake of biting into a fig before it's fully ripe, take a look at our ripeness chart. You'll never make the same mistake again.

Our Black Mission fig tree in the Sunset Test Garden has been covered with figs this year. I've done my fair share of picking figs that look like they'll be sweet and juicy only to be rewarded with a puckery, unripe bite.  Whether you're harvesting straight from the tree or picking out a basket at the market, I've learned that there are two secrets for choosing the perfect Black Mission fig.

1. Skin should be a deep, velvety purple.

2. Tiny cracks should be beginning to split the skin.

The cracks form due to the fruit taking in more water than it's thin skin can hold. By picking a splitting fig, you're guaranteed to get a nice, juicy one.  In my book, the gooshier the fig, the better, so I'll do my best to wait until they're practically falling off the branches.

 

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