The fig is a very secretive fruit.
As you see it standing growing, you feel at once it is symbolic:
And it seems male.
But when you come to know it better.
you agree with the Romans, it is female.
-From ‘Figs’ by D.H. Lawrence
Beyond being immortalized in poetry, this erotic, sexy fruit has long been thought of as an aphrodisiac due to both its visual and intrinsic properties. An open fig is believed to emulate the female sex organs, while a closed one, part of the male genetalia. We'll get to the nutritional info later.
This erotic, fleshy fruit is ripe with history. Figs are among the oldest cultivated fruit having been traced to 5000 BC. In the Bible, Adam and Eve covered their private parts with its leaves. Cleopatra is said to consider it her favorite fruit. Ancient Greeks thought the fig sacred as it embodied love and fertility. In Greece ritual copulation followed the arrival of the new fig crop. In fact, the Ancients thought the milky-white substance (actually a natural latex) which drips from the cut stem to represent the “universal energy” and thus used to treat infertility. In some Southern European countries wedding guests throw figs instead of rice at the newly weds encouraging fertility.
Beyond the visual stimulation, the sweet, juicy taste is highly pleasurable to the human senses. Additionally, figs are loaded with manganese, magnesium, vitamin E (the sex vitamin), zinc,iron and potassium, nutrients for that most pleasurable of activities. And in case you're interested, they’re a good source of fiber.
Summer is here, enjoy the fig, for alas its flesh is but fleeting.