When is a fig ripe and ready to pick? For figs, the peak of ripeness is a magic state reached on the tree, not the kitchen counter. Picked too early, the fig languishes unripe and inedible until rot slowly takes its artful form. An unripe fig has all the culinary appeal of a cotton ball. If you don’t believe me, take a hint from nature; figs can hang untouched on a tree for weeks and the minute (seemingly the very minute) the sugars reveal themselves and true ripeness is reached, every critter in the county with a flying or climbing capability is out to devour the bounty of this aerial smorgasbord.
So how can you tell when fig ripeness is reached? Look for the sugar slump as I call it, the plump point where the fig can no longer support its own weight from the stem. In the following video, I show the stages of ripeness and a close-up view of fig several varieties. (Try not to drool on you laptop.)
(Click on the image below to play the video.)