National Fig Week takes place from November 1 to 7 every year. It’s the time of the year to celebrate the unsung hero of fruits by discovering its many varieties, countless delicious recipes, and many health benefits. It’s a fun week to wear your apron, remove your cooking equipment from your drawers, and cook the most delicious fig recipe. What’s more, they’re so flexible they can be served either in a sweet or savory dish. It’s a week to highlight this fruit that’s often unrecognized and underappreciated. Learn more about the ways you can celebrate National Fig Week!
History of National Fig Week
Figs are one of the oldest fruits consumed by mankind. Its cultural and biblical symbolic relevance dates way back to the ancient times when figs repeatedly appeared in The Bible’s Old Testament as a tree that Jesus miraculously enchanted to bear fruits. Some historians argue that it was a fig that Eve consumed in the garden of Eden, not an apple.
The culinary use of figs dates back to 2500 B.C. during the Neolithic excavation when Sumerians first discovered that they were edible. But the cultivation of figs in humanity as a staple food started in 1768 when Spanish Franciscans brought them to southern California. This was called ‘Mission Fig’ which started the growth of many varieties in the U.S. The most popular variants include Black Mission, Brown Turkey, Calimyrna, and Kadota figs.
With the widespread use of sugar in the culinary industry, figs became the go-to fruit for chefs and cooks in producing jams in the 1800s. Figs gained commercial demand in 1891 when Fig Newtons produced and manufactured the first fig cookie. This proved to be a hit not just within the company, but also in all households as home cooks started replicating their fig-inspired desserts.
Today, figs are celebrated as one of the most flexible fruits in the world. They can be served as either sweet or savory; desserts or main course. This National Fig Week, indulge and enjoy the delicious goodness of this tasty fruit either in restaurants or in your kitchen.
National Fig Week timeline
Figs become a symbolic fruit in the Bible for prosperity and miracles.
Sumerians discover that figs are edible, marking their first culinary use.
Spanish Franciscans bring figs to southern California, starting the growth of many varieties.
The commercialization of sugar led to the discovery of Fig Newtons cookies.
National Fig Week FAQs
What happens if I eat figs every day?
Eating too many figs can upset your stomach. Health experts say that it may cause diarrhea or allergic reactions in some people. It’s best to consult your doctor before consuming figs.
Do figs spike blood sugar?
Yes, figs can increase glucose in your bloodstream. Those who have blood sugar problems should limit their intake of figs, especially the ones that are processed.
What do figs taste like?
Figs taste like honey. Its texture is distinguishable because of its seeds which give you a crunchy yet soft sensation with every bite.
National Fig Week Activities
Bake your fig cookies
What better way to celebrate National Fig Week than to bake classic fig cookies? Browse online to find the best recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Host a party
Indulge in the flavors of nuts and figs in a slice of delicious cheese. This is perfect for quick bites at a party. Don’t forget to pair it with your choice of wine for that complete umami experience.
Cook a delicious savory lunch with figs
From fig-glistened pork chops to a Sunday roast with fig sauce, you can never go wrong with this delicious fruit. Surprise your family and friends with a meal that has a twist.
5 Fascinating Facts About Figs
The fig capital in the U.S.
California grows 100% of figs in the U.S. making it the American capital of the fig industry.
Figs hold moisture
Figs are known to hold their moisture, making them ideal for baking.
They are rich in calcium
According to nutritionists, the calcium content in a cup of figs is equivalent to a cup of milk.
Figs in the Olympics
Olympians are known to consume figs before any game to give them energy and strength.
Vegans use figs as a replacement for fat in baking or frying.
Why We Love National Fig Week
They are just delicious
National Fig Week is a good excuse to consume figs! Their tangy, sweet, and effervescent flavors are just irresistible.
They are nutritious
Figs are a good source of calcium and potassium. They help improve bone strength while giving you energy for your entire day.
They are flexible fruits!
Store figs at home and you’ll have endless recipes to cook. Or you can just eat them on their own! They’re delicious either way!
National Fig Week dates