With the new summer, the fig trees begin to bear fruit and will continue until autumn. These foods are highly appreciated in Spain for being a very sweet vegetable, due to its high sugar content. In any case, despite our love for these foods, we still do not know some aspects about them: figs are not fruits and, above all, they are not the same as figs.
Despite what many people think, a fig is not a fruit, but several inverted flowers within a pod. Flowers are the reproductive system of plants and, although the vast majority of them are exposed to the open air to facilitate pollination, those of the fig tree are hidden. This makes pollination difficult for this species, but does not make it impossible.. If not, there would be no fig trees.
The tree that supplies us with figs can reproduce in two ways: the first, and the one practiced in Spain, It is the cutting made by the hand of man; the second, however, requires a specific species of wasps. Some figs have a hole at their base, it is an entrance that a wasp has made to leave the eggs inside. When the young come out they take the pollen and when they enter another, they fertilize those flowers.
From figs to figs
It is a complicated process that has a fatal outcome for the wasps, as detailed in this article in EL ESPAÑOL. Anyway, do not be alarmed because when we take a fig we are not consuming a wasp, in most situations. Most of the fig trees of Spain reproduce through cuttings, but in which a wasp has been introduced, its corpse is dissolved by the enzymes of the fig.
The other great myth that exists about figs is that they can also be called figs. This is false: both words refer to the flower of the fig tree in different conditions. At first glance, a fig is bigger than a fig and, if we taste it, we will also discover that it is less sweet. However, the two foods come from the same fig tree and their structure is very similar. So what is their main difference?
The figs are the first fruits that the fig tree bears and that appears at the end of spring and the figs are the ones that come out in summer and autumn. Although figs may appear to be early fruits, they are actually late. The figs, in this sense, are the figs that did not finish growing in the previous season and that they reach maturity at the beginning of the following season.
Sugars and fiber
In other words, the fruits of the fig tree that we have been able to see during the month of June are figs; less sweet and bigger. As the summer progresses, the figs of this season will give way, whose best season takes place between the months of August and September. To close the circle, figs that have not ripened by the end of September, will do so the following June, in the form of figs.
In Spain, figs are grown mainly in Huesca, Ávila, Cáceres, Murcia, Alicante and Lleida. Although its main content is water, figs reserve a good proportion of carbohydrates and fiber. Specifically, figs have 16% carbohydrates made up of different types of sugars: glucose, fructose and sucrose. However, thanks to its fiber content, this sweet substance does not produce the damage associated with free sugars.
Figs, in fact, stand out because they are one of the fruits with the most sugar and also with the most fiber. In any case, they are recommended in a healthy diet, but also in weight loss ones. Figs only contain 85 kilocalories for every 100 grams we eat; In addition, they are rich in potassium and vitamin B6.