Interesting Facts about Figs
Known as the “Forbidden Fruit,” and the “Fruit of the God”, figs are nothing new. The Greeks used these sweet drops as signs of victory and for ancient Olympic training. If you are a fig lover like us, you may enjoy these fun facts gathered in this article.
LEARN MORE ABOUT what are Figs and what do they taste like.
The History of Figs
Among the earliest fruits used by humans, figs tell a complex and symbolic story in culinary history. Ficus carica L., generally known as the fig, originated in Northern Asia and expanded with the Greek and the Romans throughout the Mediterranean region.
The fig is the first tree mentioned in the Bible, in the story of Adam and Eve. Some biblical scholars believe the fig, and not the apple, was the forbidden fruit picked by Eve in the Garden of Eden. It is said that Adam and Eve used fig leaves to cover their nakedness.
“And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.”
Sumerian stone tablets dating back to 2500 B.C. show culinary use of figs, and remains of fig trees were discovered during exhuming Neolithic sites from 5000 B.C. Some recorders consider it the first of the domesticated crops.
Figs hold a position of symbolism in many religions, including Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism, symbolizing fertility, peace and victory.
Ancient Olympians received figs for their athletic prowess and Pliny the Elder admired the fruit’s restorative powers. The prophet Mohammed reportedly named the fig as the one fruit he would most wish to see in heaven.
Fun Facts about Figs
- The fig tree has been planted since ancient times and grows wild in dry and sunny regions, with deep and pure soil; also in rocky fields, from sea level to 1,700 meters.
- By about 11,000 years ago, people in West Asia had already started to farm fig trees. Gardened figs may be the first kind of food that anybody cultivated, even before barley and wheat.
- Egyptians called the fig tree as the ‘tree of life,’ but it was the ancient Greek exploited Figs, they were so fascinated by their taste and juicy flesh. They created laws around exporting the best quality, to keep them entirely for themselves.
A woman, holding a child with her left hand, reaching for a fig.
- Figs are self-fruitful, so you require only one fig plant to produce fruit. Mature fig trees can be 5 to 9 meters tall.
- Dried figs are rich in minerals like calcium, potassium, copper, iron, selenium, manganese, and zinc – all essential for red blood cell production, as well as for cellular oxidation.
- Buddha reached enlightenment under the bodhi tree, a large and old holy fig tree (Ficus religiosa, or Pipal).
- Despite Epictetus’s entreaty, figs don’t “flower”: the fruit is the flower. The green or black orb we eat is called a syconium (from the Greek sykon, “fig”).
- Figleaves have long been used to conceal the genitals of nude figures in painting and sculpture. Art curators and exhibitors often added these depictions after the original work was created.
That’s it, guys.