The oldest fruit tree mentioned in history is undoubtedly fig. His leaves were the first clothes of Adam and Eve, even there is a version that the tree of knowledge was not an apple tree at all, but a fig.
The history of the ancient world is inextricably linked with the cultivation of figs. In Greece, this fruit was a symbol of fertility( the number of fruit grains reaches 1000 or more).
Soft fig leaves replaced napkins to the Romans. .. By the way, the she-wolf fed the founders of Rome under the shadow of the fig tree. Until now, Italians consider figs to be Christmas symbols of abundance.
In this article, we will learn how figs look( white and black), where it grows in Russia, as well as how to eat its fruits.
Table of contents
- What is a fig, what does it look like and its other name
- How, where does a fig grow and blossom, how to determine its ripeness?
- When do the berries harvest?
- . How to pick figs: green or ripe?
- How to store and use the collected fruit of the tree?
- Useful properties of ripe fruit
What is a fig, what it looks like, and its other name
According to another, figs call "ficus caric".It is difficult to call this multi-stem tree up to 10 meters tall. The crown is spreading, the bark is gray, the curved branches are covered with very large beautiful foliage.
The outer side of it is dark, the leaves below are much lighter, rough from small villi. Figs, like other ficuses, contain very pungent milky juice.
Fruits of figs - with a very delicate skin, filled inside with a sweet reddish jelly and fine grains. In fruit, fermentation processes often begin right on the branches, hence the second name - “wine berries”.
Plant dioecious, "male" and "female" inflorescences grow on different trees. How does a tree bloom? Flowers of a nondescript type grow in the leaf axils. Pollination occurs in a very specific way - wasps of a particular species develop inside the fig flower and fly out and carry pollen.
Due to the lack of natural pollinators( these wasps), figs could not acclimatize in America, until they brought out special varieties for new growing conditions. Nowadays, industrial plantations of fig trees consist entirely of only such self-fruiting varieties.
How, where does fig grow and blossom, how to determine its ripeness?
The plant is so unpretentious that it can grow not only on poor soils, but even on rocky scree and stone walls. No tillage before planting requires at all - neither cultivation nor fertilizer.
Propagated fig tree seeds, root suckers, green cuttings. The plant easily tolerates shearing and pruning at any age. Fruiting figs starts early - for 2-3 years, starting from about 7 years gives a stable crop, lives up to 100 years( even 300 summer specimens are known).
The closest relative of the well-known ficus, figs grow sprawling shrubs or trees up to 10-12 meters tall. The plant is extremely tropical, even a temperature of -100 ° C is destructive for it, and frequent frosts on the Black Sea coast significantly damage the planting of the fig tree.
Specificity of a plant that frost is not terrible for figs. Colds do not tolerate pollinating wasps wintering in fruits.
Unpretentious fruit tree with such tasty and healthy fruits became widespread in India, Australia and the islands of Oceania, the semi-deserts of Africa, in Central and Latin America, Bermuda and the Caribbean.
Since ancient times, figs have been growing in the Crimea, Transcaucasia and Central Asia. Greek colonists brought it to the Black Sea coast.
When the berries are harvested?
The most unusual in our understanding, on the branches at the same time are figs of the current crop and the beginnings of the fruits of the next season. Moreover, these overwintering buds are ready for harvest at the end of May. They are much larger than the autumn harvest, but not so tasty.
The first crop( insignificant) is harvested in June-July, and the main second crop - in the fall, in September-October. However, in modern industrial plantings, cultivars with one-time fruiting are cultivated.
If the figs are designed to be dried, x are left on the branches a little longer, where they are dried and spontaneously dry almost to the required condition under natural conditions.
Now varieties of stunted figs are being developed, as well as varieties that are dried on the branches much faster. All this facilitates the production of valuable fruits.
Very tender berries can be stored for only a few hours, they need to be quickly processed or eaten fresh.
. How to pick figs: green or ripe?
As a thousand years ago, figs are harvested by hand only. This is due exclusively to the very “delicate” structure of the fruit - the jelly-like pulp with small seeds is covered by a thin peel. From each tree the fruits are removed in several stages, as they ripen, choosing only ripe figs. Immature fruits cannot be eaten because they contain poisonous bitter "milk".
Fruits are not just collected very carefully. Fruit pickers must put on thick cotton gloves,
- so as not to damage the delicate wine berries,
- to protect themselves from the caustic sap of the plant.
Fruits cut with a sharp pruner or knife are placed in low pallets, transferred to the shade and sent to consumers.
How to store and consume the collected fruits of a tree?
Fresh fig fruits are stored for literally several hours. Given the high sugar content( up to 30% in fresh fruits), fermentation processes begin very quickly - no longer than 6 hours( hence the second name - “tartberry”).
In the United States, a significant portion of the fig immediately undergoes deep freezing. Some varieties are well stored in 30-40% solution of sugar from cane at -12o C in refrigerators. The main part comes to consumers in dried form.
Light fruits with about 5 centimeters are most often used for drying. They are kept for 4-5 days under the rays of the sun.
The classic method of drying figs - under a canopy, strung on a thread through a punctured stalk( in the form of "beads").Sometimes it is dried by spreading the "eye" up, spreading it in the sun. Sometimes, before drying, the fruits of figs are dipped in hot syrup for a few seconds and then brought to a standard over gas or in the sun.
Frozen figs with dark berries. It is pre-washed, dried, packaged and frozen. Store at -16-18 o C for about half a year. But this method of storage is not the most popular.
Useful properties of ripe fruit
Figs are not only tasty, but also very useful. In addition to pectins, organic acids, vitamins( B, C, PP, beta-carotene), these fruits contain many minerals and microelements. The potassium content in figs is almost like that of nuts, and iron is more than that of an apple.
To recuperate after an illness and just to raise immunity, a “wonder mix” is recommended.
For its preparation it is necessary to take equal shares:
- dried figs,
- dried apricots,
- peeled walnuts.
Mince everything in a meat grinder and mix with the same share of honey. Keep refrigerated. Taking 1 tablespoon every morning is not only very tasty, but also supports the cardiovascular system, the gastrointestinal tract and the general body tone well.
In the southern countries, figs are processed into jam, marshmallow, and even high-alcoholic beverages are made from it. Of the products we have available, try making the original cookies.
Fig Jam Essential Products :
- 1/2 glasses of sugar,
- 50 grams of unsalted butter,
- 1.5 wheat flour,
- 1 chicken egg, Nur Nurst Nur Nur Nahn Nur Nurkhev Nurst Nurl Nur Nurkhev Nurkhev Nurst Nur Nurkhev Nurst Nurl Nurl Nurst Nurst Nurl.1 teaspoon baking powder, vanilla sugar, lemon peel and its juice,
- a pinch of salt.
Preparing is very simple: mix everything and gradually stir in the flour. Roll out the dough 1-2 centimeters thick. Cut into a glass, put on a baking sheet. Bake at 160 ° C for about 15-20 minutes.
Figs are a tree of the tropics and subtropics. Of course, it can be grown in a greenhouse, and even in the room to get a few berries. But all the useful properties are stored in dried berries, which can always be bought in the trade network.
And at home to grow another ficus. ..