Meet at the market: not your average Newton

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Calimyrna (left), Black Mission (center) and Kadota (right) figs. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Each week we meet up with Katie Hershfelt of Cultivate Events as she chats with farmers, chefs and shoppers at the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers’ Market.

This week, she met up with Colton Monahan of Avila and Sons Farm to talk figs: grilled, dried, wrapped, stuffed and everything in between.


Avila and Sons grow over a dozen fig varieties. Here’s what they have at the stand this week:

  • Kadota figs taste like a sweet raspberry. Their thick skin makes them perfect for grilling. Just slice them in half and throw them on.
  • Black Mission figs taste like a white peach and are perfect on pizzas, salads, or stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto.
  • Calimyrna figs have thick skin but are soft, chewy and packed with flavor, making them perfect for drying.

Monahan says to pick soft figs with some cracks in the skin. That means they’re perfect to eat. “The prettiest ones aren’t going to be the best,” he says, although they will ripen up in as soon as a day on the counter. “The sweetest fruit are ugly and wrinkly.”

To check out all our past farmers’ market guests, click here.