Sunday, June 21, 2015

Name This Plant: Fig

A photo posted by @seereeves on

I was a little disappointed to learn this was a fig. Cale and I were at the grocery store when I happened on them. I wasn't sure what they were, but decided with Ramadan just around the corner this must be what a fresh date looks like. Somewhere inside of that thing was the date I was used to seeing. I was super excited to do a timely, Ramadan-themed Name This Plant.

As it turns out though, fresh dates don't look much different from the ones you see in the grocery store.

*I can totally see how a date is hiding in there. It's not really hiding that much.

There were, however, no dates hiding in those figs. And figs aren't really the traditional food of Ramadan. So there goes my timely post.

Figs, which this post is actually about, are native to western Asia and the Middle East. If you thought it was a fruit, you were totally wrong. According to Wikipedia:
Although commonly referred to as a fruit, the fig is actually the infructescence or scion of the tree, known as a false fruit or multiple fruit, in which the flowers and seeds are borne.
Also, the bits on the inside that you are eating are called druplets, and that is a fun word.

Figs are one of the oldest plants to be cultivated by humans (older than wheat and other grains), and fig leaves are an ancient/historical way for people to clothe their genitals. Just ask Adam and Eve. Figs are actually all over the old and new testament. They are both famous for being one of the seven plants that feed people year round in Deuteronomy and infamous for being the plant that couldn't feed Jesus, so he cursed it. Damn you fruitless fig tree!

It's not just the Christians and the Jews that are big on fig. Buddha apparently became enlightened under a type of fig tree, and it is mentioned throughout the Qur'an as well.

And who can forget the Fig Newton?

"Fig-Newtons-Stacked" by Evan-Amos - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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