Figs are fickle. They have a short growing season and an even shorter shelf life. So what's the best way to store figs to keep them as fresh as possible for as long as possible? After all, there's nothing more disappointing than splurging on a box of figs only to realize they've spoiled before you've had a chance to eat them. And you know when a fig has spoiled. The fruit will be mushy, and the juice will often leak through the skin, making a mess. The good news is that you can learn how to store fresh figs to extend their life.
The bad news, however, is that your window for eating a fresh fig is really small even if you do store figs correctly. That's because figs are about 80 percent water, making them "very fragile and perishable," according to Harold McGee's book On Food and Cooking. And they start going bad as soon as you pick them off the tree.
You realistically only have about three days to eat all of your figs. While you can keep figs on the counter at room temperature, you're going to have better luck at making them last if you refrigerate them. You should put them in a shallow bowl so they don't roll around and bruise, according to Megan Gordon at The Kitchn, and cover that bowl with plastic wrap so the fruit doesn't "start to smell like last night's leftovers!"
If you don't think you're going to be able to eat all of the figs you bought before they get moldy, or you just want to be able to eat and use them long after fig season finishes, you can also store figs in the freezer. According to the experts at the Valley Fig Growers, a California-based cooperative, you can freeze figs for up to a year "in an airtight bag or container."
But really, if you've got fresh figs in your hands, you should probably just eat all of them immediately. And that's ultimately the best tip to keeping figs fresh: eat them right now.