There are more than 700 varieties of figs and they range in color from the deep purple or black of the Mission to the pale yellow-green of the Calimyrna. Fresh figs have a sweet nutty flavor that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Figs are used in preserves, baked, grilled, poached, stewed, dried, and of course are delicious as is. The cultivation of fresh figs is thought to predate other important food crops in the Jordan Valley in Israel by more than a thousand years. Figs are high in antioxidants. The fruit that we eat is actually a fleshy structure that encloses the flowers of the plant. The flowers bloom inside the structure and they mature as the fruit ripens.