Figs: A Global History by David Sutton (Hardback, 2014)
Figs, fresh and dried, have become the fruit of celebrations and festivities throughout the Western world, and have been typically associated with Christmastime since the nineteenth century. In Figs: A Global History, David Sutton examines the festive and celebratory importance of figs in many countries by placing this luscious and festive fruit in its historical context. Beginning with an account of the strange biology of the fig - which is botanically not a fruit at all, but rather a cluster of ingrowing flowers - Sutton moves on to consider the Arabian origins of figs, including the possibility that the earliest fig seeds were transported from Yemen to Mesopotamia in the dung of donkeys., Proposing that the 'forbidden fruit' eaten by Adam and Eve was in fact a fig rather than an apple, this book explores the history of the fruit in fascinating detail, from the Crusaders to the wonderful fig festivals of the modern world. Including numerous recipes both sweet and savoury, and countless facts, myths and stories about the fig, such as the bizarre tale of the American fig-wasp, Figs is a fascinating account of this unique and delicious food.