What’s on Your Plate!
There is nothing more exciting than having co-workers represent a variety of cultures and ethnicities. You learn so much about everything from effective communication, politics, global issues, and my favorite — FOOD! One of my colleagues is from India, and whenever I visit his office, he always shares with me anything and everything in his office that can be consumed…I always oblige by eating it all! I trust him apparently. Recently he shared with me an excellent treat that he referenced as Indian Fig, also known as “Anjeer.” I am a fan of Fig Newtons, so I was very curious. I must say it tasted much better than Fig Newtons.
The fig is considered one of the earliest fruits grown by man, predating pomegranate and grain. It is regarded as a popular fruit in India. I have not tasted a fresh fig, but the dry fig has a bit of a leathery and chewy texture. The inside of the fig is seedy and sweet. My colleague mentioned that the awesome treat could be pricey since the fig isn’t available fresh year-round, and specialty markets sell the fig dried with a cost comparable to almonds and cashews. So, this is that one treat that you wouldn’t want to put on the kitchen counter for all to consume.
The best part of the fig is that it has a lot of nutritional benefits and that is always good to hear. Here are some things the fig has been used for:
- Male sexual dysfunctions
- Anticancer effects
- Anti-inflammatory treatment
- Treats tissue growth and tumors
- Puffy gums
- Upset stomachs
You can also use the fig as a preserve, add to your salad, and use as a base of pies and pastries. Trying new foods that are tasty and healthy is always a fun experience. Try a new food that you haven’t tried before and tell us about it.
Danielle Hairston-Green, Ph.D.
Program Specialist, Family and Consumer Sciences