Where to start? In Greece, of course!
For the Greek god Dionysius the fruit of the fig tree was such an important aphrodisiac so that he declared it as sacred. Because Dionysius believed so much in figs’ effectiveness, after his death people carved his image into fig trees. Those images decorate Dionysius with a very large phallus, as a reminder of his, let’s say, life style.
The fig tree did not only stimulate the sexual energy of old Greeks- it appeared also to be very attractive for committing suicide by hanging themselves on its branches. One day, Timon of Athens, an old Greek misanthrope, announced the elimination of the fig tree, which stood close to his house. To many people hanged themselves there, so he decided to stop this kind of ritual with the following sentence: “I kindly ask all persons who are weary of life to hurry up with their suicides”.
In old Rome, a fig tree was not only an erotic stimulant, but, after an old legend, under the fig tree Romulus and Remus were found and suckled by she-wolf.
The first plant that is mentioned in the Bible is a fig. Since then the fig leaves are the most known plant symbol at all. After they had eaten from the forbidden tree of knowledge, Adam and Eva were driven out of paradise. They realized they were naked, so they waved two fig leaves into each other and used them as an apron.
Nothing tastes better than a fresh fig. It contains more than 60 % sugar. That is why figs start to ferment very fast. The fig tree takes 7 years to give the fruit, but the next 50 years they bring a constantly good harvest.
If I would be a fruit, I would be a fig.
Fig Salad with Radicchio and caramelized garlic
Ingredients (Serves 4):
1 small radicchio, finely chopped
8 very ripe figs, cute into slices
300 g small, wild and ripe cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
buch of cilantro or parsley leaves, finely chopped
70 g sunflower seeds
1 red chili pepper, finely choped
Juice of 1 lemon
5 Tsp native olive oil
2 Tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 head caramelized garlic (the recipe bellow)
1. In the bigger serving bowl place finely chopped radicchio, tomatoes, cilantro or parsley, sunflower seeds and chili.
2. Pot the ingredients with the mixture of olive oil lemon juice and salt, and stir until well combined.
3. Add the sliced figs and caramelized onions. Drizzle with some more olive oil and balsamic vinegar and carefully stir once again.
1 head of garlic, cloves removed and peeled
1 Tsp coconut sugar
a knob of ghee
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 dl water
1/4 tsp salt
1. Bring a pot of water to the boil, add the garlic and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and repeat the blanching process once more.
2. Dry the pan, and put in the ghee. Put in the garlic and fry on high heat, stirring all the time, for 4-5 minutes until golden on all sides.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the vinegar, water salt. Bring to the boil and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes, or until hardly any liquid is left, just the caramelised cloves in a thick syrup. Let cool.