Did you know that figs are indigenous to Western Asia and are found throughout the Mediterranean area, where the climate is ideal for their production? The succulent fruit, both fresh and dried, has been prized since ancient times - fig remnants have been traced to as early as 5000 B.C.
The fruit is usually consumed fresh or in a preserved form, such as dried or as a paste. Turkey is the major producer of dried figs, followed by Iran, USA, Greece, Spain and Italy.
Bites of Health
Dried figs are high in potassium, which may contribute to normal muscle function. Not only that, dried figs are high in fiber and a source of vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, copper and manganese. Of all dried fruits, they contain the highest amount of fiber (9,8 g/100 g) and magnesium (68 mg/100 g). And they’re also remarkable for their phenolic content, a type of antioxidant.
Facts and Figures
The fig tree was a sacred, mystic tree in ancient Greek and in Roman civilizations, as well as a symbol of fertility. Figs were a staple food of the Greeks and the Spartans. The Greek athletes were fed almost entirely on figs, as it was believed that they increased their strength and swiftness. In monotheist religions, the fig is a sacred fruit. It is mentioned in holy books and served at religious festivities. Another fact about figs is that they have numerous edible seeds inside that are generally hollow, unless pollinated. Pollinated seeds are the ones that give the dried figs their characteristic nutty taste.