GIVE A FIG?

Food - - Smart Living -

At this time of year figs are a pop­u­lar ad­di­tion to many dishes, but the story be­hind their cre­ation is not a very merry one. Figs are tech­ni­cally in­verted flow­ers – as op­posed to fruits – and be­cause they bloom in­ter­nally, their pol­li­na­tion process is un­usual. It is car­ried out by fe­male fig wasps who, when en­ter­ing the tiny pas­sage into the fig to lay their eggs, have their wings and an­ten­nae ripped off, dy­ing in­side. The en­zymes in the fig then di­gest the in­sect’s corpse, and it be­comes part of the re­sult­ing ripened fruit. Mean­ing a fig’s se­cret in­gre­di­ent is ac­tu­ally de­com­posed, dead wasp. Per­haps don’t give us some figgy pud­ding…

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