You must bite right through the blue flesh that bleeds milky white when it’s just ripe; into the honey-colored fruit inside that glistens and aches to be eaten. There's no way around it.
Once I served a platter of figs and prosciutto to a guest who insisted on eating out the heart of the fruit and leaving the skins on his plate.
He wasn’t asked back.
Fresh Fig Salad
12 ripe Mission figs
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp honey
a fistful of raw walnut halves
a clutch of fresh mint leaves
freshly ground black pepper
Cut the figs into quarters and place on a platter. Combine oil, juices and honey in a small bowl: beat lightly.
Drizzle dressing over the figs as they lie belly up on the platter; toss gently. Crush the walnuts, tear the mint; sprinkle on top with a crack of fresh pepper.
Serve to guests and politely field questions about the "little eggplants."
Freely interpreted from Viana LaPlace’s « Unplugged Kitchen »
[Photo credit: Figs for Lunch by Xerones]