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I'm volunteering at an organic farm and I just ate a bunch of super delicious tree ripened figs.. but my tongue burns REALLY badly right now, anyone know why?

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Same! And it lasted for the whole day. What is this?

Next time, try avoiding the flesh and skin that's close to the stem.  And like Esra said, yeah, the skin can be a problem for some people.

I am having a memory leak here, forgot the actual name of the substance. There is something in figs and pineapple (and probably some other fruits) that is very irritating (ether base of acid) when they are not fully ripen. It happened to me when I eat 500g of figs and had damaged my mouth for a few days.

The fact that you say you where eating tree ripened figs confused me a bit , because if they where really ripe you shouldn't have had a burn... (according to the information I read, somewhere in the past) or you have been eating really a lot of them with some unripe skin parts and things started adding up.

Latex in the skin, mostly in the stem and upper part for the fig. It occurs mostly with the early figs (the ones growing on last year wood).

Peel them, and at least remove the top part. If you pick them you can see the white liquid latex coming out. You want to avoid that part.

Woofers coming to our area always get a fig mouth ;-) And then can't eat any for a few days when it really hurts.

Thanks, this helps a lot. Yeh, I've been getting proto-figs (we call them brevas here).
The heck are woofers?

Nah, actually it's :)

http://wwoof.com/

I bet he means "World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms" It's an organization where you can volunteer on organic farms throughout the world and they give you food and a place to stay. :) That's what I'm doing currently.

We call them brevas here too, Spain mainland. And figues fleurs in France. And I don't know in English.

Have been eating some for the past days too, and no problems, and I really really like brevas!!!

Sorry, WWoofers, not the ones who bark, even if sometimes maybe ;-)

one thing I've found that helps (ripeness is still primary) is to turn the figgie inside out, so that the skins are back to back and it's only the juicy innards that safely contact your mouth.  

Nah, it's the skin.

The irritation is from the proteolytic enzyme bromelain or (protease). Protease breaks down the peptide bonds that join the amino acids in a protein. Raw pineapple, raw figs and papaya all have the proteolytic vegetable matter bromelain or papian (papaya proteinase) that are also used as meat tenderizers. It can be pretty painful if you overdue it so wait until the irritation is gone before eating more. Drinking fluids simultaneously and quick transit times in your mouth can minimize the effects.

 

When you get older the effects diminish. When I was little, raw pineapple gave me canker sores under my gums but not anymore. They don't even effect me now.

Once cooked the enzymes are neutralized. That's why canned pineapples won't irritate your mouth.

Actually, papaya is very mild on the mouth -my experience, at least-. This page even states that papain is a painkiller. And I never had problems with raw figs before, only recently, when I started to eat them with the skin (I always thought you had to peel them, but people at the market gave me one whole fruit to try, so I supposed it would be ok to eat the skin). 
Agree on the pineapple, that stuff is nasty.

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