Tuesday, October 09, 2007

That's Fig-gin' Digusting

My work mates and I were walking around our office business park when we spotted another work mate walking the other way. He was holding a fig in his hand. That's quite rare as it's almost impossible to buy fresh fig. He showed us the tree in the car park that he had just picked the fruit from.

We were all interested and looked at the tree and wondered if we could pick some more. I was even thinking of making a fig cheesecake or something. Anyway, the figs were way too high and all looked really raw still. So most of us kept walking.

Wei, Jessie and Hien had walked the other way. Anyway, Hien must have gone back to the fig tree and picked some fruits. She had given one to John. Having never eaten a fig, he dug into one full on. Just as I was at Hien's desk talking to her, John pops around and goes "You know that fig you gave me Hien, it's full of ants." Ugggg. He went and got the evidence and showed us. Indeed, the fig was teeming with ant type things with wings. Totally disgusting looking. John went and tried to wash his mouth out since he had eaten quite a few of them. Hien kept saying "I wonder how they got in, there's no apparent hole". No matter how they got in, it's still not a nice feeling eating them.

Regarding the actual fig, it was far from ripe. I know because I used to have a fig tree at my old house. When the figs are really ripe, the fleshy meat inside is so sweet and full of syrup. I used to like eating them with a spoon. I didn't like the taste of the skin, but apparently you can eat the skin too.

Just out of interest, I looked up figs on the Internet, Wikipedia to be exact. What I bet you didn't know is that a fig is actually a syconium: an involuted (nearly closed) receptacle with many small flowers arranged on the inner surface. So we're actually eating the flower of the tree rather than the fruit.

I recently made my first ever fig dessert, these fig and pistachi biscuits. I loved them and had found the recipe from Cream Puffs in Venice. For more fig recipes, go to Ivonne's Sugar High Friday post where there are tonnes of recipes using figs.


  1. Ants in the figs? That sounds really yucky!

  2. Agnes, thanks for visiting my blog. Some more fellow Melbournian food bloggers, excellent.

    They weren't even ants. They were those ant type things but with wings. There was at least 10 of them crawling out from inside the fig. And John had eaten a few of them when he bit into the fig. Uggghhh.

  3. Glad you liked the cookies!

  4. Perhaps Sharon would like to comment on how "Natural" it is to eat this fruit!

  5. Ivonne, I loved the cookies. The fig had added a really interesting flavour to it, not too heavy like a date might of. Keep posting more recipes as I check your blog for easier recipes all the time. Some of the things you make are just way too advanced for me.

    Anonymous, perhaps she might, only she would know.

  6. Growing up with a fig tree in our yard, we'd get excited when it came to summer because of all the juicy ripe figs.

    But that's a nasty surprise... of course I remember reading that a type of flightless insect uses figs as a bachelor pad. Only the males grow wings and fly off to impregnate a wingless female waiting in another fig!

    So you have to remember tear it open with your hands to make sure there isn't any 'protein' goodness inside! ;)

  7. M's, so you know what I mean by how ripe and juicy a fig should be. This fig was so dried and didn't look good to eat at all.

    Your description of the insects sounds right. They didn't fly away as they probably couldn't and just walked around the fig.

    We all joked to John that at least he got a lot of protein for the day.