Fig jam, a diversity of types
Fig jam is considered to be one of the oldest types of jam in the country, and is a characteristic Southern Italian tradition. Suffice it to say that in Puglia “extra” jams have always been produced by leaving the fig to dry in the sun covered in sugar, and that in Salento there is the largest organic fig plantation in the world. This is one of the areas that holds the cultivation of this tree very dear, along with Campania (which has a variety native to the Cilento area) and Sicily. Italy is one of the leading producers of the fig with the lowest possible use of pesticides.
In the Sicilian region fig jam is common in confectionery and baking, used in genuine recipes for everyday products such as tarts. A classic example is “buccellati di fichi”, biscuits filled with fig jam, almonds and raisins, and decorated with icing.
It could be said that there is not only one type of preserve made with the fig, but various kinds, given that many places produce their own delicious variations of fig conserve, adding walnuts, pinenuts or even wine (Barolo, for instance). The most traditional version of this exquisite Italian jam is usually eaten with herbed or tangy cheeses, but fig jam is just as good with goat’s cheese, both soft and mature.