Article #3: Figs
What a treat figs are when picked fully ripened from the tree. I have experienced this a number of times and cannot think of a meal more satisfying.
Historically, the fig has been used as food for thousands of years by many cultures throughout the Mediterranean area. This is considered to be its native habitat, although it can be cultivated in all warm, temperate zone climates.
There are four main commercial varieties: the Black Mission, the Adriatic, the Kadota and the Smyrna, of which the Calimyrna is a variety. These can be distinguished from one another by their unique coloring. The Black Mission is dark purple or black-skinned with pinkish meat; the Adriatic is green-skinned with meat resembling raspberry jam; the Kadota is also green-skinned but the meat is light colored; and the Calimyrna is gold-skinned with light brown meat. (I am not familiar with other Smyrna varieties.)
In chemical composition, the fig closely resembles that of human milk, especially in regard to the proportion of mineral salts. Quoting from Otto Carque in his masterful treatise, Rational Diet, he says, "While the percentage of fat in mother's milk is higher, the fig contains more fruit sugar, thus furnishing the same amount of heat units per ounce. It will also be noted that the important elements of sodium, iron and sulphur are contained in larger proportion in the fig than in milk and wheat."
"The growing child, on account of increasing muscular and mental activity, needs more of these elements to carry on the process of oxidation and elimination. These elements must be more frequently renewed than others, and a sufficient supply of them in our food is a matter of great importance. In all cases of physical and mental exhaustion, the fig is, therefore, of exceptional value in replenishing the vital forces of the body."
So if you are fortunate enough to have access to this exceptional taste treat, please enjoy figs as a, fruit meal with other sweet fruits, or better yet, eat them alone and appreciate their unique flavor.
Reprinted from Fruition, Issue 6
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