Friday, March 16, 2012

F is for Figs


Growing up anytime I thought of the Fig, I immediately when to my up brining in Catholicism and thought of Adam and Eve’s clothing.  They covered themselves with Fig leaves.    It is speculation in some circles that the Fig was and is the actual “Forbidden Fruit” not the apple as most people believe. 

The fig is thought to have originated in the southern part of Arabia.  Some of the oldest written records of using this fruit occurred during the lives of ancient Sumerians and also the Assyrians.   Even today, the fig tree is held with sacred honor in countries such as Southwestern Asia, Greece, Egypt, and Italy. 

Food of the Gods

In Greece, the Fig is associated to both Demeter and also Bacchus.  It is thought that during Autumn, Demeter introduced the Fig to the mortals as one of the first fruits of the season.   Her followers were the ones to name the fruit Fig.  Now in Rome, the people bestow the first fig being introduced to them by their God Bacchus.  If you look at various artwork of the God, his head is adorned by a crown of fig leaves.  This made the fruit a sacred fruit.  The first fruits of each season were dedicated to the God.  Festivals were held in his honor and his devoted female subjects decorated their bodies with garlands of the sacred fruit.  As a Cajun, each year I celebrate what is known as Mardi Gras.  As a Cajun who is also Pagan, this festival may be celebrated by many Christians, but I view it as one of the sacred festivals to Bacchus. 


Botanical name: Ficus carica

Magical Intent: Divination, Fertility, Love, Money, Sex, and Strength.

Deity:  Aset (Egyptian), Amon-Ra (Egyptian), Bacchus (Roman),  Brahma (Hindu), Demeter (Greek),  Isis (Egyptian), Juno (Greek), Ra (Egyptian)

Element: Fire or Air (I have seen reference to both elements)

Planetary Ruler: Jupiter

Gender: Male (The word Fig actually derives from the Arabic for testicles so for me that definitely gives it some male energy.)

Now with that last sentence in mind, I could not think of a recipe besides this one for Fig Balls. LOL

This recipe comes from
Make them for the sweet part of a seductive meal for the one (or ones whatever the case may be) you love for a romantic evening of celebrating Bacchus or just simply each other.  These pair well with chocolate covered strawberries for the final course or late night snack since they can be made ahead of time.

• 3/4 cup dried California figs
• 3/4 cup shredded coconut
• 1/2 cup nuts
• 1 teaspoon lemon zest
• 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
• Finely chopped sweetened coconut
On a rack over boiling water, steam figs for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove stems and process in food processor until chopped fine; turn into mixing bowl and set aside. Add coconut and nuts into food processor, and process until nuts are chopped fine. Turn into mixing bowl with figs. Add lemon zest and juice; mix together well, adding juice or water as needed to knead paste until thoroughly combined.

Shape heaping tablespoonfuls into 3/4-inch balls and roll in finely chopped coconut. Store in covered container.
Serves: 12

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