Those crazy Dutch people... ‘Is it true that the only figs you eat are dried ones?' Helio can hardly believe his ears. Neither can his business partner, Priscila. But Yexi has to admit it’s true. Back in Holland, few people are acquainted with the fruits hanging here in such profusion on the fig trees. If they do get eaten, they're usually as dried fruit. The two farmers from Brazil shake their heads again. ‘Here, taste one!’ When we do, all we can say is, 'Wow, fresh figs are really good!'
People in Brazil really appreciate figs. Actually, Helio and Priscila like fresh figs best when added to a salad. Or in a dessert. The chefs in Brazilian restaurants also know what to do with figs. Figs with Parma ham or cheese are a very popular starter.
Good advice for Yexi to take back with him, in his suitcase to the Netherlands. After all, we’ve travelled to Brazil to discover more about this relatively unfamiliar fruit. An unfortunately unfamiliar fruit, since figs are a very healthy fruit. They're simply bursting with potassium and fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6. A sore throat? Figs also have a medicinal effect. In fact, they’re miracle fruits!
But that doesn't stop Helio and Priscila from being absolutely in love with them. Helio: ‘It was our grandparents who shared their love of growing figs with us. They started farming here in 1926.’ Back then, they were still growing crops like coffee and cotton. Fruit was only added about fifty years ago. Recently, figs have become an important crop for us. Priscilla: ‘They're even our largest crop. At first, we grew them only for our own market, but you're crazy about them too, as we've noticed', she says with a wink to Yexi who’s just stuffing the third one into his beak.
So what's the trick to growing figs? Priscilla has to think a while before answering. ‘You have to love the land and love growing the crop. We carefully consider our cultivation methods. We also love the challenge of sustainable cultivation.’ Helio nods. ‘Our approach to growing is becoming more and more professional. That's also why we like working with professional buyers. Like you. We are delighted to grow top quality figs for your brand, Discovered. We're really committed to this.’
OK, we ask Helio and Priscila if they might like to help educate consumers about figs. How should you actually store figs? ‘In the refrigerator’, Helio is quick to say. And Priscila: ‘In the refrigerator? Are you kidding? I can't wait that long. They're much too good for that!’
Dulce de higos are caramelised figs in syrup. They are very popular in Brazil where they are eaten as a dessert. Delicious with yoghurt, ice cream or as filling for a pie or cake.