FIG

Fig or Breva . Complete fruit, typically Mediterranean, which for centuries has been highly appreciated by different cultures . It is made up of 80% water and 12% sugar .

The family of this fruit consists of more than 1,500 species of trees and shrubs. The fig is the first fruit that the fig tree annually produces, the fig being the fruit of the second harvest from the same tree.

From this fruit abundant juice can be obtained, so it is used in the kitchen as an exotic ingredient in sauces. It is an excellent accompaniment for any type of roast meat . Its combination with pork and duck is perfect. As a dessert, they can be eaten alone or in more sophisticated preparations.

Scientific name: “Ficus Carica”.

Summary

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  • 1 Origin
  • 2 Feature
  • 3 Quality
  • 4 medicinal properties
    • 1 Healthy
  • 5 Sensual
  • 6 How to keep them
  • 7 Sources

Origin

Their origin dates back to centuries before Christ and they were even considered delicacies in the time of Classical Greece . Already in the same Genesis of the Bible , it is narrated how Moses sent explorers to recognize the land of Canaan and they returned with different fruits, including figs. But it was in classical Greece that figs are one of the essential foods of their civilization.
This fruit was also Plato’s favorite delicacy , in fact it is known as the fruit of the philosophers.

Galen advised them to athletes and Hippocrates used them to combat feverish states. For their part, the Berbers consider them a symbol of fertility and resurrection.
In India the fig is a sacred tree, Buddha has it in his famous “balete”, representing strength and life, axes of the world where geniuses live, representing the knowledge acquired after meditation. The beautiful Cleopatra does not escape the history of the fig, since she was poisoned by an aspid snake that arrived in a basket with figs.

Characteristic

Fruit of the fig tree.

Fruit of the fig tree. It is a medium tree with rough leaves. Once planted, it takes about 5 years to enter production and its longevity exceeds 100 years. It is a type of tree that grows in areas of water scarcity and salinity. There are more than seven hundred varieties of fig, among which are black, green, purple or prickly pear.
Some cultivated fig trees produce two harvests, one of figs in spring, larger, and the other of figs in autumn.
The fig is green, purple or bluish in color and variable in size.

It requires a temperate climate, it does not withstand low temperatures well, although it can withstand long periods of drought.
There are around 600 varieties of figs. The season of most production is summer. The main varieties are: Kadota, Adriatic, Calimyrna and Mission. California and Turkey are the main producers.
A 250 gram fruit will provide about 1,300 calories and around 12 grams of protein . Figs have the highest sugar content of any other fruit. They also have vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 and C and Iron .

Quality

Its skin can be green, white or purple but, to know how to distinguish whether it is at its point of maturity, it is popularly said that it should have the neck of the hanged man, the clothing of the poor and the eye of a widow. This means that the stem of the fruit must be dry, the skin wrinkled and when opening it must shed a tear of syrup . It is a clearly seasonal fruit due to the wild nature of the fig tree. Although they last well into October , the best are September .

Medicinal properties

Figs have many expectorant qualities so, when constipated, it is very beneficial to take infusions of this fruit.
Just put two or three figs to cook in the water necessary for a herbal tea. When these are soft, the liquid resulting from cooking is strained and taken hot as an infusion.

Healthy

Ripe fig is highly digestive because it contains a special substance called Cradin . Both dried and fresh, figs are an excellent tonic for people who make physical or intellectual efforts. This fruit also contains variable amounts of pentosanas and citric, malic and acetic acid, as well as Carotenes, Vitamin B3, B9 and C. They have a higher amount of sugar than the rest of the fruits, hence its caloric value is very similar to banana or grape . It is low in fat and protein, but rich in water, minerals and fiber.
It is also a good emollient, a mild laxative, a good diuretic and an excellent pectoral. For all this, figs are recommended for children, adolescents, pregnant women, intellectuals and athletes . In addition, its leaves together with the fruits are used in the preparation of a delicious drink in the woman’s pregnancy stage, to be offered to visitors once she gives birth to the baby, in Cuba , it is known as Aliñao .

Sensual

For centuries, this fruit has been considered erotic, ambivalent, and symbolic. Ambivalent because, for the Judeo-Christian culture it had an analogy with the female sexual organ, however, for the Arabs, it was analogous with the male organ. When cutting the figs from the tree branch, they give off a whitish liquid. Formerly, that sap that comes off the fruit was associated with semen. It was also used as an ointment against sterility and to promote lactation.

How to keep them

As with most fruits, the fig is a seasonal fruit. However, there is no reason to give up enjoying its flavor the rest of the year.
To preserve them, it is enough to make a light syrup based on water and sugar, according to personal taste. Then the figs are placed in jars and covered with that syrup. Simply vacuum the jars for the figs to last until the following season.

 

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