Adriatic Fig Spread

I have been mourning the inevitable replacement of mission figs in the fruit section with fresh cranberries. I had been desperately craving one last delicious dessert of soft gooey cheese with fresh figs oozing their almost too-ripe syrup, but the figs had already gone. I had long glanced at the attractive jars of Adriatic Fig Spread at Whole Foods with the fleeting thought: I like figs, I should try that. With the fresh figs finished for the year and the craving unsated, I finally brought a jar home.

        

The figs used in this delicious fruit spread are cultivated, harvested and dried by local farmers. In a few steps, the figs go from tree to jar and in your hands to enjoy with toast or as a topping for dessert.The fig trees are maintained with minimal intervention — farmers tend to the land, prune the trees in the spring and the soil is naturally fertilized by the animals that are present.

It's hard to object to these ingredients: organic Dalmatian dried figs, organic sugar, water, fruit pectin.This spread is thick and not too sweet. Although made with dried figs, it's wet and delicate with no relation to the leathery dried figs often sold in stores. In addition to being fantastic with cheese (especially a gooey, creamy, soft cheese), this spread is delicious with decadently rich and completely unsweetened Petit Suisse plain yogurt, as pictured above. It's also pretty tasty on toast, with peanut butter, or straight out of the jar. I've even imagined it over vanilla ice cream with chocolate or mixing it with olive oil and balsamic for a dressing over arugula. This seems to be a Whole Foods exclusive, given the AFA (Authentic Food Artisan) Presented by Whole Foods Market seal. Having finally tried it, I feel like it's a steal at about $4.50 for an 8.1 oz jar, at least compared to fresh figs and other less versatile jams and spreads.