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Figs


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Several countries have strong cultural ties to figs, and the fruit makes several cameos in religious and political narratives. For instance, the Hadith quotes Muhammad claiming that figs surely “descended from paradise.” Some Biblical scholars assert Eve covered herself with fig leaves, and Buddha himself purportedly achieved enlightenment while contemplating under a sacred fig tree in Bodh Gaya, India. Even today, the banyan (Ficus benghalensis) is India’s national tree with Hindu women flocking to it to receive blessings for a long and happy married life. The Ficus religiosa, also known as the peepal tree, has its own religious connotations its native region of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

The Greek, Roman and Egyptian civilizations were fond of the fruit. Egyptians, for made pastries from figs and the Greeks forbade their export due to their high value. Romans considered the fig tree as symbolic of the civilization’s prosperity.

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Ficus carica is an Asian species of flowering plants in the mulberry family, known as the common fig. It is the source of the fruit also called the fig, and as such is an important crop in those areas where it is grown commercially.Figs rank among the earliest fruits grown by man, predating even pomegranates and grains. In 2006, Israeli archaeologists discovered ancient figs in an 11,000-year-old house in the old city of Jericho. From the Jordan Valley, a variety of figs were grown and disseminated throughout Asia Minor. A few of these varieties are native to the Indian subcontinent, including the cluster fig.

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