THE PLANT THAT STARTED IT ALL: THE FIG TREE

THE PLANT THAT STARTED IT ALL: THE FIG TREE

Throughout history, the fig tree has always been a symbol of abundance and fertility; from the founding of ancient Rome to the beginning of Buddhism, the fig has played a starring role in some of history’s most exciting stories.

Well-known across its birthplace of the Mediterranean, and through the height of the Roman and Greek civilizations, it is believed that this bountiful fruit was one of the first plants to be cultivated by humankind.

Herodotos, who was a historian living in the Mediterranean town of Bodrum, Turkey in the fifth century BC was quoted as saying “fig culture is as old as human history”.

From being used as training food by the earliest Olympic athletes, to being Cleopatra’s most preferred fruit, and the tree under which Buddha was first said to have reached enlightenment, figs have been with us since the dawn of human civilization, and may have even been integral to human evolution – explaining its symbolic potency.

According to ecologist Mike Shanahan, “The year-round presence of ripe figs would have helped sustain our early human ancestors and high-energy figs may have helped our ancestors to develop bigger brains. There is also a theory that suggests our hands evolved as tools for assessing which figs are soft, and therefore sweet and rich in energy.”

No wonder scientists call it a “keystone resource”. More than 1,200 animals, including humans, rely on figs for essential nutrients, with the fig tree sustaining more biodiversity than any other in the world.

Ranking first in the world in terms of fresh and dry fig production (63.7% in 2019), the Aegean region of Turkey, with its distinct climate and soil create the perfect conditions for fig cultivation. After all, figs have been cultivated in these ecological grounds for over 2500 years and today are still grown using the same natural methods, without utilizing pesticides or fertilizers. As a result, traditional Turkish figs are considered to be the most natural and highest quality figs in the world.

We take pride in our tender and juicy all natural Sunny Fruit Organic Dried Smyrna Figs, grown and meticulously sun-dried for ideal sweetness in the lands where fig production first originated hundreds of years ago.

The fertile soils and unique climate of the Aegean town of Izmir, Turkey, result in the most natural, organic, and nutrient-rich figs in the world. A premium source of dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium, figs are known to help boost your immune system and support digestion.

Most importantly, figs are packed with antioxidants! Rich in protective plant compounds called polyphenols that prevent cell and tissue damage by managing oxidation, figs are also known to be key in reducing inflammation due to high levels of flavonoid. With strong antioxidant capabilities, luteolin (a type of flavonoid) is very effective at neutralizing free radicals, working to ease existing inflammation and to prevent free radicals from triggering new inflammation.

Still a staple of the Mediterranean diet, and a go-to snack across the globe, it seems and for good reason, the future too, will be full of figs!
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