Thursday, August 17, 2006

Fig for Fancy?

In my research of figs I found numerous and unbelievable things these little fruits (flowers) can do! Although considered a fruit, the fig is actually a flower that is "inverted into itself". The seeds are the real fruit. Figs are the only fruit to fully ripen and semi-dry on the tree. Figs contain a natural humectant -- a chemical that will extend freshness and moistness in baked products.(I guess this is why I can’t seem to eat only one Fig Newton?)

Figs provide more fiber than any other common fruit or vegetable. The fruit contains a proteolytic enzyme that is considered an aid to digestion. Because of its high alkalinity, figs have been mentioned as being beneficial to persons wishing to quit smoking.

Figs have been cultivated in the Eastern Mediterranean area for thousands of years. Archaeologists think it was one of the first fruits domesticated--as early as 4000
B. C. Sumerian scribes writing on clay tablets around 2500 BC in the reign of King Drukagina mention figs. In 1575,The Spanish were the first to bring the fig to the United States via Florida. The Spanish missionaries later brought figs into California in 1769.


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