What are the benefits of figs
Fig: sweet delicacy
Ingredients of the fig: Among other things, potassium
It crunches when you bite into the purple-colored fruit: the reason is the many tiny seeds. Above all in the dried fruits there is a lot of fiber that promotes digestion. In terms of minerals and trace elements, for example, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc can be found in figs. In addition, figs contain vitamin B1, among other things. Since the dried fruits contain quite a bit of fiber and a lot of sugar, sensitive people can react with gas and intestinal grimacing.
Origin: The fig does not only grow in the Mediterranean area
The fig tree probably originally comes from the Middle East. The fig quickly spread throughout the Mediterranean and became a staple food in ancient times. In ancient Greece, the fig was considered an aphrodisiac and belonged to the god Dionysus.
Even today, around 95 percent of the figs available here come from Turkey, which is also the world's main producer. This is also where the famous "Smyrna fig" comes from, which is said to be of the best quality. The fruits also grow in Egypt, Algeria, Iran, Morocco, the USA and Greece.
Botany: a false fruit
The fig tree belongs to the mulberry family. The tree or shrub grows up to ten meters high and sheds its long stiff leaves in winter. The trunk is often gnarled and twisted, the crown spreading. The fig tree prefers mild winters, but is otherwise quite undemanding. It also thrives in drier regions.
The fig blooms three times a year. After a complicated pollination process, false fruits, also known as stone fruit clusters, develop from the flowers. The female flowers become the small kernels inside. The fruits are up to ten centimeters in size, mostly pear-shaped and are green, yellowish, red-brown or dark purple. The flesh is pink or red depending on the variety. The fig genus includes up to a thousand species. This also includes the Ficus benjamina or the strangler fig, which however does not bear any fruit.
Fig season: Fresh autumn fruit
The main harvest of figs takes place in the Mediterranean region from September to November. Dried figs are available all year round.
Storage of figs: consume as quickly as possible
Fresh figs consist largely of water and are therefore extremely sensitive to pressure. You can tell whether the fruits are ripe because they are soft but not mushy. If the fig is moldy, the skin is damaged, dark in places or squashed, you should not eat it any more. The same applies if it tastes sour: then fermentation has already started. Unripe fruits are not dark purple and usually hard. Figs should be consumed as soon as possible, as they lose their aroma quickly and do not keep for a long time.
Tips for preparation: Delicious in fruit bread
Fresh figs are aromatic and sweet: they taste great on their own, but also very good in salads. The shell and kernels can be eaten after washing under running water. Fresh figs with goat cheese are a classic combination. Alternatively, a fruity fig jam can be served with the cheese. When dried, figs are often found in mueslis, fruit bread or dried fruit mixes.
To the overview page of the fruit and vegetable dictionary
Nutritional table: fig (per 100 grams)
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