It’s not always clear why we commit certain things to memory but I’ll never forget the first time I tasted a fig. The details are blurry. I was quite young and we were visiting some family friends in Corsica, a rugged sunny island off the South coast of France.

On a walk, my parents’ friend reached up and picked a big ripe fig which had been dangling off a knotted old branch. It was big and soft and smelled divine. I took a big bite, easily breaking the slightly fuzzy skin to reveal the fig’s bright juicy flesh. Oh my goodness, it was so delicious!

Figs are synonym of warm summers and make a short appearance in Australia around Christmas. Nothing beats a fresh fig but I thought I would share the various fig products we store at The Essential Ingredient in Newcastle just in case you can’t just scoop one out of the sky!

Baldjis Kalamata Fresh Figs in syrup: A refreshing and nutritious fruit grown in the Kalamata region in Greece. Enjoy over muesli and yoghurt, with cream cheese or ice cream for dessert, or if you’re feeling festive, add a fig to your bubbly.

Dolci Pensieri fig “salami” made with figs of calabria. Cut in think slices and serve on a cheese platter.

Maggie Beer fig Vincotto: Sweet and highly aromatic, this velvety syrup is thick with figs. It can be used in sauces, vinaigrettes and in desserts and baking. Traditionally used to dunk biscotti into, Fig Vincotto is perfect to sweeten mascarpone, drizzle over pannacotta or used as an alternative to honey when baking cookies or biscuits. It can also be used as a sauce for duck breast or a leg of lamb.

Tar 10 Black Genoa Fig Vinegar: Made in the Hunter, this vinegar is great on salads with apples, cheese and nuts or to pan fry chicken or pork.

Tar 10 Black Genoa Fig Jam & Fig and Ginger Jam: Rich and luscious on toast, muffins, crumpets or as a side on a cheese platter.

Far Meadow Lodge Marinated Baby Figs: Serve with soft and blue cheeses, in salads, with duck or pork, or for dessert, over mascarpone, yoghurt or ice cream.

New England Larder Vanilla Figs: serve with ice cream, yoghurt or mascarpone.

Mother Meg’s Orange and Fig Biscuits (Gluten Free): Enjoy these traditionally baked biscuits as a snack or with tea.

Whisk & Pin fruit compote: Aromatic mixture of sun ripened fruit and delicate spices. To prepare, cover with water and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Serve warm with yoghurt or over ice cream.

And for my favorite way to enjoy figs, cut a few fresh figs into quarters and some small pieces of goats cheese and roll together with a thin strip of prosciutto. What’s your favorite fig recipe?