The Fig

Although considered a fruit, the fig is actually an inverted flower. The seeds are the real fruit in figs. Native to areas from Asiatic Turkey to northern India, figs spread to all the countries around the Mediterranean.

pic4Figs have been farmed for thousands of years. Figs or fig trees are mentioned in the Bible more than fifty times. They have been found in jars at the pyramids of Giza. Every inhabitant of Athens was a “philosykos,” literally translated, “a friend of the fig.” Early Olympic athletes were given figs as a training food and fig leaves were made into laurel wreaths and given to the winners of the first Olympics as a “medal.”

The Spaniards brought figs to the Americas in the early 16th century. The missionary fathers brought them to California… “Mission Fig” gets its name from this history. The Smyrna fig was imported from Turkey to California in 1882. It was given the name of Calimyrna in honor of the grower’s home.