Everyone knows what the fig trees are ( Ficus carica ) and that the figs are the most traditional fruits (fig-fig, the thing can not be clearer). However, there are many doubts about the brevas … are they the same? Among those who know conclusively that not some believe that the figs come from “some” figs and the “other” figs … and in fact it does not have to be that way.
Let’s start from the basis that figs and figs are different things although visually they resemble a lot; and that at the same time both (figs and figs) are the “false” fruit of the same species , even of the same “individual”, biologically speaking.
As you will know the most posts, the brevas are the “false” fruit of those fig trees called bifurcations , that is, with two “harvests” throughout the annual cycle: on the one hand the end of June or the beginning of July, characterized for the presence of brevas; and on the other the August or September in which, now, are the figs the protagonists … the same tree, two “fruits”? You are right. More or less
Actually the brevas are those “fruits” of the previous season (figs in power) that have not reached maturity in August-September, remain in a kind of dormant state until the first heats of the following season … So, in the months of June or July, traditionally around the San Juan festival (like the pears that pay tribute to this festivity at the same time), the figs are collected, a “son” or fig that was not the previous year and that is breva in this .
Following with its traditional biological cycle, the fig tree offers its second harvest at the end of summer, beginning of autumn, with figs, now, as protagonists.
From the gastronomic point of view, the figs tend to be much more appreciated than the figs , although in all sincerity, I am almost convinced that this preference is due more to the size of one crop and another, undoubtedly less in the case of the figs. And I say this because, from the point of its characteristics, the breva, usually larger than the fig, is less sweet than this one, although it has more brown flesh. I believe that the exaltation of the excellences of the fig against the fig resides more in the lesser of its harvest and in that it is produced earlier, as a tasty foretaste of what is to come, the fig.
At the time of its consumption, there are innumerable possibilities. On the one hand we have direct consumption which, as almost always in the case of fruits, is my preferred option; but there is also the important catalog of “natural” sweets in which both ingredients are protagonists (especially the fig) as for example, the compotes, the “fig bread”, jams, pies … not to mention its presence as an ingredient complementary in “main” dishes , very usually accompanying dishes and stews made with meats of different origin, with game, and so on.
For all those who are wondering why my insistence at the time of talking about “false fruit” , the answer is more biological than practical. Actually, well the figs, well the brevas are the meeting in a same vegetal receptacle, denominated of technical form sicono that reunites to an important quantity of the true fruits, technically drupeolas (or small drupes in which we eat so much the fleshy part , like the “bone” that we colloquially call nuggets and that are crispy when chewed).
By the way, if you are one of those that you like that mixture, for my excelsa, of cheese with quince … do not stop trying to change that quince for some good figs, when they arrive, or now with brevas.