Spring is in the air … or is it FIGS I smell?
In the first two weeks of April, when the cold subsides and makes way for the mild temperatures of Spring, all fig trees in Greece start getting their new leaves. Small sprouts are seen budding and before long the tree is its rich green leafy self again.
Fig trees lose all their leaves during the cold winter months. All that is left are bare branches which create eerie shadows at night; its branches reaching out in all directions.
When I was a kid, we used to live in a lovely country house with two massive fig trees in the back yard. Unfortunately, my bedroom had a window looking out into the back yard. I wouldn’t sleep alone at night because the shadows seemed to be ‘angry souls’ trying to get into my bedroom. A child’s imagination can be unbelievable at times!
You can smell a fig tree long before you see it. A distinct smell fills the early morning air; especially at dawn on a hot summer’s day. A traveler will hardly ever go hungry; fruit-bearing trees grow wildly in the country. Greece is most hospitable!!!
Figs are highly nutritious and also rich in calories. They are great for those suffering from constipation and other stomach issues.
Personally, I consider figs to be a ‘meal’. Three dry figs as an afternoon snack can stave off hunger pangs for quite a long time.
The leaves of the fig tree were man’s first ‘garment’ in the garden of Eden – this has certainly inspired many fashion designers and photographers.
Figs are delicious whether eaten raw, cooked or as a spoon sweet.
In antiquity, they were considered to have been blessed; they were both nutritious and had medicinal characteristics as well.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, swore by their medicinal characteristics and as we all know, he believed in prevention of many diseases through proper nourishment.
So, never hesitate to enjoy a lovely, sweet fig – its full of goodness!
A superfood indeed!!!