Sweet and soft with a slight taste of anise, dried fig from Carmignano is very tasty with mortadella from Prato, but is also perfect as a light dessert. It's famous across the country for its organoleptic attributes and its ancestral and natural drying technique. Since December 1, 2001, Dried Fig from Carmignano has become a Slow Food "Presidia".
The figs are split open and laid out on cane mats, called "canniccioni". They are then steamed with sulfur and then dried directly in the sun for four or five days. After resting for a month in a cool, dry place (during which time a sugary coating, the "gruma" forms on the skin), the figs are layered in figure-eight shapes (called "picce").
These dried figs can be purchased directly from producers and in some Tuscan "gastronomie" (specialty food shops) but the best moment to buy them is the third weekend of October, during the Welcome dried fig Festival of Carmignano.
Cover image credit: Associazione produttori Fico Secco di Carmignano