Figs are among the oldest fruits consumed by humans. They tell a symbolic story in culinary history, and were once used as a sweetener in all types of desserts before the widespread use of sugar.
Figs are believed to have originated in northern Asia Minor, possibly as long as 100 million years ago, and spread with the Greeks and the Romans throughout the Mediterranean region. Spanish missioners brought the figs to southern California in 1520. The fig tree appears repeatedly in both the Old and the New Testament of the Bible. Some scholars believe the forbidden fruit picked by Eve was a fig, not an apple.
Today the fig tree is grown worldwide for its edible fruit. One such tree is growing on the East River in the Miles vicinity of Mathews at the home of Dave and Lisa Machen. “I’m not sure what type of fig bush it is,” Lisa said. “Could be either a brown turkey or black mission. We planted it here after building on the site.” Whichever variety it mig...
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