I just got a box of fresh figs, other women get perfume and jewelry for gift and I get food and I LOVE THAT. A gift that I can enjoy and savor. I took the box of figs and hid them in the back of the refrigerator so my husband can not find them.
In my parent’s village in Syria, Safsafeh,my family is well known for its crop of figs. The saying in the village goes like this: “While every one’s figs grow ripe from the blessing of the sun, the Dieb family’s figs grow ripe from member of the family squeezing them every day to see if they are ripe yet.” It does rhymes in Arabic.
Figs are one of most ancient fruits, mentioned in the Christian bible, the Moslem’s Koran, and the Jewish Torah. Romulus and Remus, the storied founders of ancient Rome, were supposedly suckled by a she-wolf under a fig tree. The early Greeks so highly prized figs that it was considered an honor to bestow upon the winner of various competitions both the foliage and fruit of a fig tree. And we all know that modesty became popular when the private parts of /roman and Greek statues were covered with figs leaves. In Greek Mythology, when Zeus was pursuing Ge and her son, Sykeus in the war of the Titans, SYCEUS (Sykeus) A Titan or giant who fled from Zeus in the course of their war against the gods. He was hidden by his mother Gaea ( the earth) as the seed of the first fig tree.
Figs were supposed to have their beginnings in Southern Arabia, but the Mesopotamians, were the first to cultivate them. From Iraq they were spread to Syria, and the Phoenicians, who had colonized most of the Mediterranean, spread the figs trees from Syria to the Greek Island when they conquered them. Then the Greeks spread figs to Spain, Italy and other parts of the Mediterranean.
Figs were first introduced to the New World by Spanish and Portuguese missionaries, which is where the “mission figs” originated. The first recorded shipment of fig trees came from Seville, Spain, to the West Indies. The Spanish, in a burst of protectionism, allowed only one fig tree per family in the West Indies, to prevent competition with figs from the mother country.
Since I eat every fresh fig I can get my hand on and since I can not find fresh figs in South Dakota I use dries figs in my desserts.
makes about 2 pounds of jam
1 pound dried figs, coarsely chopped
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon ground anise seeds
zest of two oranges
-Dissolve the sugar in water and bring to a boil.
-Add the chopped figs, chopped walnuts, orange zest, the anise and the clove.
-Bring back to a boil, add the rosemary and the chili flakes, and then turn down the heat into medium -low temp and simmer until the syrup is thicken. Remove the jam from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.
-Toast the sesame seeds, cool and then, sprinkle over the jam and fold gently.
-Pour the jam into sterilized jars, cool and seal.