Regular readers will recall that I reviewed a vegetarian parmesan style cheese earlier in the year from Italian online deli food providers Vorrei. And very nice it was too, so nice to have a quality parmesan alternative.
In the run up to Christmas, Vorrei have put together some hamper ideas with lots of quality, artisan, Italian goods that aren’t necessarily available on the High Street.
As such, I was sent a couple of their fig goods to try out.
I adore figs and they’ve become quite en vogue in recent years, moving away from the notion that they’re only good for ‘fig roll biscuits’.
The first item I tried was the Fig Ball.
The contents of which are handcrafted, 100% Italian figs from Calabria. The variety used is Dottato and the trees they come from are 2500 years old! (Did you know by the way that figs are deemed as one of the oldest known fruits in the world?). Dottato’s USP is their richness and that each fruit bears very few yet fine seeds.
Harvested when the figs mature at end of season, they are then divided in to balls and wrapped in green fig leaves.
Vorrei describe how the baking process that follows gives them a strong and intense taste.
Just open part of the fig leaves which will then allow you to eat them whole or partially in pieces.
They are sticky yet delicious and I had some on some cheese which worked wonderfully. The fig ball would make a fascinating piece on a (Christmas) cheeseboard.
The second item was Figs with Almonds.
Presented in a box, (makes for a nice gift to take as a dinner guest), the figs are as above, are the Dottato variety, boasting a bronzy outer skin and matching interior. They are described as being handpicked piece by piece when fully ripe, they are then oven dried and then stuffed with Sicilian almonds.
The soft fibrous fruit contrasted by the solidity of the nuts work well. Again, another goodie for the cheeseboard and a breakaway from the usual range of crackers. Cheeseboard to one side, they’re nice to munch on as they are.
Both are produced by Artibel who are based in Belmonte on the Tyrhennian coast of Calabria. It is an ancient family run company dating back to the 12th century and from the mid 1900’s it began to specialise in figs. Its use of raw materials and simple manufacturing methods offer that completely natural, rustic, artisan authenticity.
Figs themselves assert a wealth of health benefits which include being packed with potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese, vitamins B1,B2, A plus they’re a good source of iron. Combined with the almonds, it is packed with minerals (iron, phosphorous, calcium, vitamins A B1, B2 PP and C).
This might be an obvious thing to say, but being a fig fan will maximise your enjoyment of them as the taste is really intense and can’t really be muted.
As with the many of the items on the Vorrei hamper list, the fig goodies offer something different and interesting to adorn your Christmas table and/or future dinner parties with, so definitely worth taking a look at the site for some inspiration or as the Italians would say – ispirazione!
Disclosure: This review was conducted following receipt of a complementary samples from Vorrei. The review was conducted honestly without bias. For further information about reviews, please see the Disclosure tab on this website.