It's a fruit that may seem exotic but actually grows in Tennessee.
Someone who knows all about it is The Fig Lady, Sherri Lee
Figs have always been part of her life starting back in Texas.
"After supper all the kids would get outside and play kick the can and go around my grandparents' fig tree and eat the figs," she said.
She never stopped eating figs and growing figs even when she moved to Tennessee.
Fourteen fig trees grow on the grounds of her home in West Knox County.
"When I built this house I made sure that I had some southern exposure walls so if we were to have one of those 24 degree winters again they would have some protection," she explained.
With fourteen fig trees she has a lot of figs.
She uses a device to bend branches to reach the fruit near the tops of trees.
Sherri Lee said she never tires of figuring out new ways to prepare them.
"They're low sodium. low cholesterol, low in calories, and they've got all the good antioxidants and everything that you need," she said.
She's become known as The Fig Lady.
Sherri Lee decided to write a cookbook and asked friends to contribute recipes. Then she whittled them down to about 130.
Next, she tested them in her kitchen right here in East Tennessee.
"After about five years I had tested about 25 recipes to my satisfaction so I thought, at this rate I'm going to be 105. So I hired somebody to come in and we worked for six weeks, tested all the recipes," she said.
It features recipes for desserts, appetizers, entrees and drinks made from fresh figs, frozen figs, dried figs, and canned figs.
She calls her cook book 'Under the Fig Leaf.'
"A lot of people say I don't eat figs. After they've had the fig cake they have to say well maybe I will eat figs," she said.
Her personal favorite fig recipe depends on her mood.
"There are times when a Figtini is fabulous. The fig ice cream is really good and is kind of unusual," she said, "Figs with linguine, that's delicious. And if you love beets there's a fig and beet salad that I love."
Figs thrive in hot, dry weather so prime time for Tennessee is August and September.
The Fig Lady enjoys them all year.
"Figs are always delicious," she said.
Her book is available at these local book stores:
Antiques and Accents
Ijams Nature Center
Taylor and Huie
Union Avenue Book Store