Franco Rao's figs are an eagerly awaited seasonal crop, preserved in the way that's traditional in Calabria. Prized dotato figs are picked by hand when they are fully ripe, beginning to dry and concentrate. They're caramelized over twenty-four hours in a low-temperature oven, a step almost no one takes because it adds extra time and expense. The impact on flavor, however, is immense.
These figs have a roasted, caramel-sweet flavor that's irresistible. They're hand-packed in a ball the size of an apple, about 18 figs per ball, then wrapped in fig leaves and twine. It's a traditional way to store them, rustic and attractive. We fly them in immediately after the fall harvest and what we have is all we get till next year—get yours before they sell out. They are great with yogurt, with cheese, with ice cream. As a gift for someone with an eye for rustic foods with real flavor, you won't find much better.
In addition to the huge impact it has on the flavor, roasting the figs has another benefit: it preserves them. Stored in a dark, cool spot like a pantry, they'll keep for months and months.
"I’m a fig aficionado, and I never tasted figs so delectable as these... Just eat them. They're incredibly good."
Julia Della Croce, Zester Daily