Figs are believed to be indigenous to western Asia and to have been distributed
by man throughout the Mediterranean area. Remnants of figs have been found in
excavations of sites traced to at least 5,000 B.C.
In the United States, the major centers for commercial production of cultivated
figs are California and Texas. The more popular Californian varieties are packed
fresh or dried. Most Texas figs are canned.
Figs were brought to California by the Spanish missionary fathers who first
planted them at the San Diego Mission in 1759. Fig trees were then planted at
each succeeding mission, going North through California. The Mission fig,
Californias leading black fig, takes its name from this history. The popular
Calimyrna fig, golden brown in color, is the Smyrna variety that was brought to
Californias San Joaquin Valley from Turkey in 1882, and was renamed Calimyrna
in honor of its new homeland.
· Figs are fat-free, sodium-free and, like other plant foods, cholesterol-free.
· A small serving of about 1 1/2 dried figs equals one fruit exchange, or 15 grams of carbohydrate, provided in the form of glucose and fructose.
· Figs are high in fiber, providing 20% of the Daily Value --- more dietary fiber per serving than any other common dried or fresh fruit.
· Figs have the highest overall mineral content of all common fruits.
Detailed nutritional informatin can be found by searching the
USDA Nutritional Database
. Enter "Fig" (no quotes) as the keyword and select the link and report of
Figs constitute the genus Ficus, of the family Moraceae. The common commercial
fig is classified as Ficus carica.