Monday, 22 March 2010
I bought The Real Food Companion by Matthew Evans today, (it was considerable cheaper buying it from a shop which has a big w in its name). I was on the reserved list for it at the library but there was no way I would be able to read it inside of two weeks, so I'd decided I would buy it for myself, if I didn't have to pay too much.
The book itself is a rather heavy book (think Maggie's Harvest or The Cook's Companion) so it won't be a book I would read in bed, rather I will be reading it while sitting at a table. Anyway I left it outside in the open air as it smelt rather strongly, (I assume of printers ink) and it was getting up my nose, but before I did, I had a quick look at the indexes and my eyes lit on the entry for figs, on turning to it, I read the following:
"Figs are fertilised by a wasp that has to enter the fruit through the small hole at the end. As she enters, the female wasp loses her wings, and, after laying her eggs, she dies inside the fig. When her eggs hatch, the males will mate with the females, then dig a hole for the females to escape through, before they, too, die inside. The females fly off to fertilise another fig.
To eat a fig, therefore, is to eat the dead body of the mother wasp, and consume eggs or perhaps the bodies of other wasps, a fact some vegans and vegetarians may want to consider."
I was intrigued to say the least, so I did a bit of googling (as you do) because I wanted to find out more. I found this site with a picture of a fig and two wasps entering the fig. Click on the picture to enter the site.
So if you are now wondering whether all the figs that you have eaten have dead wasps in them you can find the answer here. I personally will continue eating and enjoying figs regardless.
I'll do another post on this book once I have had a better read of it.