Figs - the longevity fruit

The sweet things tempt a large percentage of us, but it can bring a lot of damage to our body. We are lucky, however, that the sugar can be replaced with fruits. Some of the most useful and ancient fruits are the figs that gave their name to Smokini - the innovative restaurant in Plovdiv.

The cuisine of Smokini - the modern restaurant in Plovdiv, relies on fresh and quality ingredients that not only enrich the taste of the dishes that are served, but are also good for the health and the overall body tonus of the guests who have ordered them. Among the products that are often used in the kitchen are the figs. These useful ancient fruits have given their name to Smokini, the new restaurant in Plovdiv.


Figs - origin and history

Known to the mankind from the very beginning of the civilization, the figs have been mentioned for the first time in the Old Testament of the Bible. One of the trees in the Garden of Eden is a fig, and fig leaves are used by Adam and Eve to cover them after the fall and their expulsion from the paradise. It is assumed that the fig tree was cultivated for the first time in Ancient Egypt, and today it is spread in Asia, the Balkans and the Mediterranean coast. Today the figs are cultivated and grown for trade mainly in Asia, Southern Europe and also in Central and South America.

The fig tree shrubs have 4 or 5 branches, their pruning is done twice a year - in autumn and in spring. The color fertilization occurs through the fig wasp, officially called Blastophaga. The most popular fig varieties in Bulgaria are Pomorieyska 24, Michurinska 10, Brunswick, and others.


Figs – characteristics of the fruit

Figs are the fruits of the fig tree, which grows best in subtropical and tropical climates. It is easy to grow them, because the figs are not pretentious to the soil or to the climate. They can withstand heat and can grow on poor soils. The fig tree can reach three to ten meters in height, its leaves are large and its fruits look like small bags of different sizes, usually about five centimeters large, but also smaller and larger in size. The color of the figs changes – at first they are bright green, then dark green and finally brown at full maturity.

The nutritional features of the fig include proteins, fats, digestible carbohydrates, sugar and fiber, as well as water. The levels of these substances in the dried figs are much higher than those in the raw figs.


Figs – how to eat them and which products can be done with them

The figs are extremely delicious and sweet fruits. They can be eaten:

Fresh - fresh or raw figs are sold in the spring and summer and can be eaten directly on their own or in a fruit salad with other fruits.

Dried figs - you can find them at any time of the year. They are dried or steamed.

Frozen, candied figs - in Bulgaria this type of figs is not popular. Most often these figs are imported from Greece or Turkey.

Canned figs - these are whole figs, preserved as marmalade.

A syrup of figs - made from figs, this syrup is used as a dressing for pastries and ice creams.

In the kitchen of Smokini - the new restaurant in Plovdiv, the figs are used both fresh and dried.


The healing characteristics of the figs

The figs are nice, healthy fruits with good effect on the human body. They contain moderate doses of vitamins B1, B6 and K, as well as moderate doses of minerals such as potassium and manganese, sodium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and beta carotene. We need to know and remember that the dried figs have moderate to high glycemic loading and index. At the same time, in 100 grams of raw figs there are only 74 calories, while the dried ones contain 249 calories.

Some nutrients in the figs increase as they dry out. The amount of minerals and fiber in these dried figs is also very high. In general, the figs are easily absorbed by the body, they improve the digestion processes, reduce the cholesterol, lower the risk of heart disease, and can help with wound healing and treatment of coughs. Figs are recommended for people with anemia, as well as for people suffering from liver and spleen diseases. Figs normalize the rhythm of the heart and are useful in the presence of thrombus.

The amount of the potassium mineral that the figs contains is almost as high as the one in the nuts. The iron mineral in the fig is higher than in the apple. And two large figs have the same amount of calcium that is contained in half a cup of milk.


Health risks associated with fig consumption

There are some risks associated with fig consumption.

Allergic reactions – the allergic reactions to figs are quite rare, but they exist. People who are allergic to figs should avoid them even when they are cooked.

Existence of oxalates - figs contain oxalates. These are natural compounds that crystallize if they fall into the body in high concentration and can cause health problems because they remove the potassium from the body. Endangered are those people who do not have a healthy gastrointestinal tract and are eating too many figs.

Sulfur dioxide and sulphites – sometimes the dried figs are treated with sulphites and sulfur dioxide in order to have good commercial appearance or to be preserved. However, they can cause allergy in people sensitive to sulfur products. Fortunately, organic figs certified as such do not contain sulphites.


Proper selection and storage of figs

The raw fresh figs ferment very quickly, and thus they should be consumed within a couple of days. When choosing figs from the market, the team at Smokini - the new restaurant in Plovdiv, looks at their skin – it should be soft and smooth, and their color should be greenish-brown. From the underside of the fig, the bell is to be dry, and to allow pearly droplets with a core of nectar. The figs should be soft if touched, but not too much. Fresh figs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days, and freezing is possible in candied water and under special conditions.


Interesting facts about the fig tree

The fig tree has no color, and the fruit grows in a multicolored inflorescence. It is almost closed, with very tiny flowers that are arranged on its outer surface. These inflorescences fit in two thousand colors and at one point they become fruits. We eat the female fruits, called figs. The male fruits, called the capriphigi, are used for making of a jam of green figs at the end of May.

The fig is a kind of ficus, part of the Mulberry family. It is one of the oldest cultivated plants, first appearing in Asia in the 9th century before the new era began, to later thrive in Greece. The fig tree has reached North and South America in the 16th century. In Bulgaria the figs ripen in the beginning of the autumn. They are harvested in several stages depending on the purpose of the fruits. The fresh raw figs do not last for long, and can be preserved for up to two or three days.

The Smokini team - the adventure restaurant in Plovdiv, believes that figs are a great substitute of the chocolates and are a good option for a diet. They are suitable for eating with sour apples or sour cherries.


The figs and their place in the kitchen of Smokini restaurant in Plovdiv

Figs can be used in the preparation of various salads, main dishes and desserts. In the kitchen of Smokini - the innovative restaurant of Plovdiv, they occupy a special place. Among the best-ordered and favorite salads in the Plovdiv restaurant is the Smokini salad, which offers a delicious combination of fresh leafy mix, dried figs, blue cheese, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and a honey dressing.
Another dish offered by the Plovdiv restaurant is the chicken fillet served with melted Brie cheese and aromatic figs and garnished with carrot puree. Among the desserts a real temptation is the home-made nougat ice cream dessert with figs. You are welcome to taste them all and make sure of their unique taste!