Ancient Figs Through History


The picture “Ficus carica” ​​probably originated from North Asia according to archeological data from fossils. Spanish missionaries brought it to the United States in 1520. Historical Sumerian tablets document the use and consumption of figs in 2500 BC.

In Greek mythology, the fig tree appeared as a Demeter gift to Dionysus and as a blessing and holiness received by the Greek gods. Plato documented that Greek athletes were fed figs at Olympia to improve overall running speed and strength. Figs contain up to 50% sugar, which in practice is similar to eating athletes with sweets.

The most famous biblical reference to figs is that Jesus cursed the fig tree for not producing fruit when it passed by, the curse that killed the fig tree (Mt 21:18)

Hezekiah, a Jewish king, was healed of a life-threatening plague by applying figs to infected areas. 2 Kings 20 The Apostle James, Jesus’ brother, uses a picture of a fig tree to illustrate the appropriate behavior expected of Christian life. James 3:12
Fig leaves were used in early churches to hide genitals from naked marble statues that adorn religious buildings. The fig tree was also used in ancient times as a shadow and for splitting and used as firewood for a quick start.

Cooked figs were used as sweeteners in ancient times, and this practice is still used in many Third World countries in Asia Minor. Figs contain more than 50% sugar. Hybrid figs contain many small seeds with holes in the fruit that taste similar to blueberries and strawberries. Figs have a small, round hole at the base of a fig tree called an “eye”. Small wasps fly to fig trees and pollinate small flowers on the inner walls of fig trees. These small seeds are generally not digested by the stomach and offer a large sedative effect for elderly people who don’t move a lot. American hybrid figs do not need or receive pollination to turn into edible fruit.

Ancient Figs Through History

Fig trees in Europe can grow to a height of 100 feet, but the fruit is very difficult to harvest when the tree grows taller than 10 feet.

When harvesting figs, it is important to pick fruit from the tree when it is ripe – usually when the tubers, tubers and color change. If the figs are removed from the tree prematurely, the sweetness will decrease, but more importantly, if the figs are removed under conditions of young growth, milk-white liquid is removed from the trunk, into the person’s hands and then into the eyes. or mouth. the liquid is very irritating and must be cleaned immediately.

One of the most famous figs in the United States is the Black Mission Image, named after the California Mission, Francis, which dates from 1770 when it was planted and grown on a commercial scale.


Perhaps the most famous fig product is Newtonian figs, which use dried figs among sweet curved waffles and distributed by Nabisco. In Europe, figs are harvested from commercial gardens, where they are sorted, sorted and packaged for sale as fresh fruit in the local market. Figs easily dry after harvesting the tree, and various brands are popular throughout the world because of their longer shelf life in the United States.

California is the largest producer of figs and is mostly sold as dried figs. In the south, figs are cooked in sugar, strawberries are sometimes added, and canned figs are eaten in the fall and winter months, like figs preserved on cookies. The trees grow into beautiful specimens in many landscapes. The stems often turn white when young to protect the sun from hair removal on delicate skin. The roots grow strongly and grow far from the canopy. However, trimming these roots will not damage the tree.

A fig tree that grows in full sun has soft wood that is easily broken. Trees grow easily up to 100 feet in Europe, but usually less than 30 feet in the United States. Fertilization of fig trees in most soils is unnecessary and inappropriate because nitrogen fertilizer tends to stimulate aggressive branch growth and reduce plant size. If too much nitrogen is used, the fruit will not ripen properly and the fruit will have an unpleasant taste.

The first fig harvest that ripens in spring is called the “Breba” harvest, and the next and most delicious harvest ripens in the fall. Figs are harvested from trees from June to October, although some new varieties will be ready to eat in April. Freshly picked figs have a short shelf life and figs usually only last about three days in the refrigerator. Images should not be taken from a tree if it is too ripe or soft, because it will start watering after fermentation. At this point, the fig loses its roundness and begins to shrink inward. If figs are harvested from trees, they must be soft and very hard figs will not cook properly when picked at this immature stage.

Strange perfume that is fragrant with the aroma of wood or musk made from beautiful fig leaves. Milk-white latex from wood can be used as a butcher or make cheese when latex is dried and mashed. Figs can be frozen whole or cut in plastic bags or jars and are expected to last satisfactorily for a year. Dried figs can be soaked in warm water to restore their shape and tenderness. Figs are rich in iron, calcium, potassium and fiber and are used as diuretics and laxatives.

Figs contain enzymes for protein absorption and can be used as a butcher and flavor enhancer. Dried figs are often used to replace recipes that require dried apricots, dates, or plums.

The fig tree is considered cold-resistant like an orange; However, newer hybrid varieties show that fig trees can withstand temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit for a limited period. When trees freeze to the ground, new shoots sprout in spring to quickly renew figs.


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