I’m not buying the apple part of the whole Adam and Eve forbidden-fruit story – far more likely if she bit into anything, it was a fig. I mean, she and Adam were covering themselves with fig leaves, why would she not be eating them? And honestly if you buy the fact that sweet is more tempting than sour, back in the Biblical days apples were sour! Eve bit into a fig…
As for my own history with the fruit, as a child I had a strong aversion to Fig Newtons (the only fig-format I ever encountered). As far as I was concerned, Fig Newtons were a conspiracy among parents, and one sneaky manufacturer, to get kids to eat something healthy by calling it a cookie. Today, I devour them (figs, not the cookies) – I eat them fresh, either spread on bread or toast followed by cheese, or else in a salad. (Keep reading for the recipe.)
What’s very cool about figs, is that unlike other fruit where the flower is on the outside of the fruit, the fig’s flower is on the inside, which means in order for the flower to be pollinated, insects (in the fig’s case – wasps) have to climb into the fig. Part of the reason figs spoil so easily is that the wasps carry microbes when they enter – which does not mean there is any higher risk of food-borne illness when you eat them, simply that figs are highly perishable.
Nutritionally speaking, they’re full of antioxidants (as are many deeply colored fruit), and fiber, but unlike other fruit they also contain high amounts of calcium and iron.
If you’re going for dried figs (or any dried fruit for that matter) most are dried with the use of sulphites which some people are allergic to, so look for “organic” which is not allowed to contain sulphites.
As for the salad, it could not be more simple – or delicious. And in a season where everyone is talking and eating, roasted-vegs, it’s a welcome change….
I created a rosemary-infused dressing (details in the recipe), but any dressing will do – it’s the figs that carry the show.
Using a sieve, drain the rosemary from the dressing before you pour it on…
Care to share your fig stories?
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