There are many healthy snacks, but the fruit is one of the best options out there.
During the hot summer days, a slice of watermelon can be refreshing. In fall time when it’s cold out, an apple will do just fine. Not only are they delicious and nutritious but fruits these days have vitamins to help you live healthier lives!
But, there’s one popular fruit that contains a surprising (and slightly off-putting) secret.
The fig is a fresh and flavorful fruit that pairs well with cheese, wine, or as an accompaniment to savory dishes. It also looks beautiful when used for garnish because of its purple-green coloring.
Every fig contains one less than appetizing ingredient: a dead wasp.
There is a reason this beautiful and delicious fruit has the small wasp living inside of it. It needs to be there in order to grow!
Throughout history, people in the US and Europe have had to enjoy dried figs because of difficulty with transporting their fresh form.
Now that food packaging has become more advanced, we’ve experienced a fig renaissance. We are using fresh varieties of figs in everything from salads to cheese plates.
They taste great, too. Just rinse them and serve plain.
It might be surprising to know, considering how tasty and succulent these fruits are, that each fig contains a dead wasp inside of it.
You don’t have to worry about finding a wasp in your snack or being stung by one. Most of the time, you won’t even notice it’s there because they’re generally undetectable!
You won’t spot any damage to the fruit’s skin either; this is because these wasps are different from worms that might dig their way into an apple or a peach.
It may be difficult to believe, but figs only exist because certain varieties of wasp regularly sacrifice their lives.
These wasps, known as fig wasps are involved in a long-standing mutual relationship with the fig tree that helps both fruit and insect stay alive.
The fig provides the wasp with a safe place to reproduce, while in return the wasp helps pollinate it.
Most of the time, fruits and flowers need a little help from bugs to grow. But it’s rare that these insects are trapped inside when this happens.
That’s because figs are quite unique when compared to other fruits, which usually develop a flower and then turn that flower into a fruit.
Figs are special because they’re the flower; it’s just inside out.
The teardrop-shaped fig fruit above looks like how a bud of flower may look before it opens.
In the fig’s case, it remains closed and never develops petals. All of its seeds are trapped inside to form a crunchy texture that makes for delicious fruit-eating experiences.
The seeds are well hidden within the plant’s structure, making it difficult for fertilization to occur. The lack of wind and the inability of pollinators like bugs or birds means that these plants cannot reproduce through their usual methods.
The fig wasp is an exception to this rule. The tricky insect does the challenging work of bringing male and female trees together so they can continue reproducing.
The female wasp lays her eggs in a male fig and dies once the process is complete.
While the male larvae hatch and start tunneling out, they get distracted when the female larvae hatch. They then abandon their project in favor of mating with the females before passing away shortly after.
The female fig wasps continue their way out of the fruit and find male figs, where they lay eggs inside. The cycle then starts over again.
This system lets both the figs and wasps continue to reproduce, creating new generations.
While it might sound gross, there’s no reason to skip figs. Usually, the bugs are too tiny for you to notice and they’re “digested” by the plant meaning that they become completely indistinguishable from the fruit itself.
If you still feel squeamish, take a moment to realize how amazing nature is!
These two species have spent thousands and thousands of years perfecting their system, which is pretty darn cool if you ask us!
Now that you have read this, will figs remain on the menu?
Figs are sure beneficial to humans because of their tasty flavor and vitamins we can get from these fruits, but what about animals, especially to our fur babies?
Can dogs eat figs
If you are a dog parent and you are curious if can dogs eat figs then the answer is, yes, figs are foods that can benefit your pet. They’re high in dietary fiber and natural sugar which is good for the digestive system without giving them a crash from refined sugars like you would get with candy or other sugary snacks.
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