The fig is an ancient, pear shaped fruit originating in Southern Europe, Asia, and Africa. It is an early symbol of peace and prosperity. They were brought to North Africa by Spanish Fransican missionaries. In North Africa, they were a symbol of fertility. Egyptians placed them in pharaohs tombs. The Greeks and Roman prized them highly. The fig tree is the first tree to be mentioned in the Bible after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. They discovered they were naked, so they sewed fig leaves together to cover them selves. The many seeds of the fig are suppose to signify unity and the universality of true understanding of knowledge and faith.
The fig tree is a prolific bearer, and live for up to 100 years. A member of the mulberry family, it is one of the sweetest fruits available, with a high sugar content. The fruit is very delicate and bruises easily. It is very perishable. It is ripe when it is soft, and the thin skin rests close to the flesh. The fig needs hot summers , and mild winters, and is in season form June to October.
There are several hundred varieties of figs. They range in color from purple black to almost white. There are three categories of figs: black, green, and purple.
The black fig is sweet and rather dry. It is not as perishable as other figs.
The Green fig has thin skin and is very juicy.
The purple fig is the juiciest and sweetest. It is the most perishably and relatively rare.
The Mission fig is the most popular. It has dark purple skin, and brownish flesh, and small seeds.
The brown turkey is a large southern fig, with violet to brownish skin, and pink flesh. It is pear shaped.
The royal Mediterranean is a green skinned fig with a purple tinge. It’s flesh is whitish pink.