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The Story of Figs...

Originally from southwest Asia, it is recorded that Egyptians were cultivating them in 4000 BC. They then spread to ancient Crete and around 9th century BC, to ancient Greece. They are best eaten straight from the tree, but can also be found at most local greengrocers.
 
It is noted that the earliest Olympians held figs in high esteem, keeping them in ceramic pots during the winter to preserve them and apparently consuming great quantities for stamina and strength. Today figs are dried commercially so they can be enjoyed all year. California is one of the largest producers, along with Turkey, Greece, Spain and Portugal.
 
Always buy figs ripe, as they do not ripen well after picking. As long as they are ripe, they can last about a week in the refrigerator. They make good jam and are excellent for the Greek „spoon sweets”.
 
Fun Facts...

  • In Asia they are considerd an aphrodisiac
  • Buddhist and Hindus regard the tree as sacred
  • Figs are a rich source of potassium, iron, beta-carotene, dietary fiber and energy.
  • Figs contain the anti-cancer agent benzaldehyde as well as healing enzymes and flavonoids.
  • They improve digestion because of a natural chemical called ficin, which starts the breakdown of protein.

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