You'll Never Be Able To Unlearn What Figs Are

It’s amazing to learn that artichokes are actually flowers and that capers are pickled flower buds, but coming across what figs really are will make you question every truth you know in this world. In simple terms, figs aren’t technically a fruit — they’re inverted flowers, and because they bloom internally, they need a special process for pollination. They can’t rely on the wind or bees to spread their pollen, and that’s where the fig wasp comes in. Female fig wasps enter the fig to lay their eggs, at which time their wings and antennae break off, and because there’s no way out, the wasps die. It’s up to the baby wasp to dig a tunnel out of the fig, bringing pollen with it. So, technically, when you bite into a fig, you’re eating a wasp carcass. The good news is that the wasps break down into an enzyme known as ficin, so the crunch you may hear isn't the wasp's body. Tell the truth — you’ll never eat another fig now, will you?