In different cultures, figs are a symbol of prosperity, fertility and sweetness.
Almost all languages in the world have a saying or an idiom somehow connected to figs. In Slovenia, we have a few common sayings, e.g. we can say that something “is not worth a fig”, and there are some other sayings in English such as “to give someone the fig” or “not give a fig about” someone or something.
Dried figs are a delicious substitute for sweets and they can be cut into pieces and mixed with yoghurt or breakfast cereals, and they can also be used to improve the texture of cakes and biscuits.
In Istria, they make an interesting appetizer by grilling figs after wrapping them with prosciutto.
Figs go well with chicken and pork and various herbal combinations.
The largest producers of figs are Turkey, Egypt and Algeria.
Figs grow on mid-sized shrubs or trees and do not produce flowers, because the bloom is hidden within the infructescence. Figs are harvested when fully matured and sometimes even after they have become slightly dehydrated.
Figs, which are native to the Middle East and Western Asia, are now widely grown throughout the entire Mediterranean region and California, where they were first introduced by the Spanish missionaries.
In Ancient Greece, figs were presented to the winners at the Olympic games, and in Ancient Rome it was believed that figs increased the strength of young people, preserved the elderly in better health and make them look younger.