Ten Fascinating Fig Facts
10. The fig tree is a symbol of abundance, fertility, and sweetness.
9. Figs are considered the first cultivated fruit, with fossil records dating back to at least 9200 B.C.
8. Dried figs are a nutritional powerhouse. They are high in fiber and calcium, and contain antioxidants and polyphenols.
7. Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder (A.D. 23-79) touted the virtues of figs with more than 100 observations, including this one: “This fruit invigorates the young, improves the health of the aged, and retards the formation of wrinkles.”
6. California produces 98 percent of the figs grown in the United States.
5. Fig trees have no blossoms on their branches. The blossom is inside the fruit. Many tiny flowers produce the crunchy little edible seeds that give figs their unique texture.
4. The fig is reported to have been the favorite fruit of Cleopatra, with the asp that ended her life being brought to her in a basket of figs.
3. The early Olympic athletes used figs as a training food. Figs also were presented as laurels to the winners, becoming the first Olympic “medal.”
2. Figs made their first commercial product appearance with the 1892 introduction of Fig Newtons® cookies.
1. The fig is the most talked about fruit in the Bible. According to the Bible, a fig tree provided the first clothing for Adam and Eve when they sewed fig leaves together. There is room for speculation that the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden might have been a fig, not an apple.