What's Unusual about the Insides of Figs?

Eaten any dead insects lately? Well, if you've eaten figs, then the surprising answer would be "yes!" The insides of figs actually contain remnants of dead wasps. The fruit of the fig tree is fertilized by female fig wasps that crawl inside the fruit to lay their eggs, carrying pollen from the male fig flowers to the female flowers in the process. However, only male fig flowers have receptacles in which female wasps can lay their eggs. Therefore, if a female fig wasp mistakenly enters a female flower, the insect is trapped inside and dies after laying her eggs. Since only female fig flowers grow fruit, the figs that we consume technically contain dead wasps, but the remains are essentially digested by the flower.

More about figs:

  • Figs have a natural sugar content of 55%, making them one of the world's sweetest fruits.
  • The first commercial use of figs dates back to 1892, with the introduction of Fig Newtons -- pastries filled with fig paste.
  • Figs were considered a symbol of honor in ancient Greece. They were even utilized during the ancient Olympic Games – both as a training food for the athletes and as part of the awards for the winners.
More Info: Smithsonian Magazine

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