Organic Figs


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Wild figs spread from Western Asia as far west as the Canary Islands and as far north as Germany. Figs are mentioned in Homer, and more than two dozen kinds of figs were familiar to the Romans, who ate the fruit both fresh and dried. The common black Spanish fig was cultivated by the Franciscans very soon after they founded their mission in San Diego in 1769. Around 1792, Captain George Vancouver spotted figs being grown at Mission San Buenaventura, nearby the contemporary Southern California city of Ventura. These figs, no surprise, are now called Mission figs --- one species among 600.

The most revered fig tree in the world grows 80 miles north of Kandy, Sri Lanka, a plant grown from a cutting said to have been taken from the bo tree under which Bhudda sat while he gained perfect understanding.

In the 1960s, hippies saw a reference to "haschich fudge" in the Alice B. Toklas bookbook, and set about creating marijuana brownies, and making Gertrude Stein's longtime companion a culture hero. In fact, it was not anything as all-American as brownies that Ms Toklas was referring to, but a variant on a traditional North African confection made of ground-together dates, figs, almonds, peanuts, spices, butter --- and ground marijuana.

Figgy pudding is a traditional, very-dense English concoction consisting of chopped apples, dried figs, carrots, breadcrumbs, flour, butter, eggs, brown sugar, black treacle, and lemon rind, and which requires five hours of steaming.

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