When you bite into a juicy fig (or better yet, your childhood favorite, a Fig Newton), do you know what you’re actually eating? Well, folks, figs are far from your average fruit.
According to the Huffington Post, fig trees actually grow their flowers inward. So, that first bite of a fig is actually a matured, ripened flower.
But, because fig trees aren’t your typical flowering tree, it takes a special kind of insect to pollinate them. The fig wasp is responsible for keeping figs alive and vice versa, according to HowStuffWorks.
Wasps lay eggs inside of the male figs (which don’t turn into the fruit we eat, by the way). But, sometimes, a female wasp can’t tell the difference between a male fig and a female fig.
If the wasp enters a female fig to lay eggs, she will become stuck and die inside of our fruit. So, does that mean we’re ingesting dead wasps when we eat figs?
Okay, so not exactly, because, as the Huffington Posts reports, an enzyme known as fictin is used to break down the wasp and turn it into protein for the fig. So, you’re likely not going to find any wasp parts when you take a bite, but apparently, that’s enough to make many vegans are weary of this fruit.
Whether you ever eat a fig again is entirely up to you. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.
[h/t: Huffington Post]