The Sweet Meadow

Getting figgy with it

foodAishe Besim

If you've browsed around this website or my personal Instagram page long enough you would have noticed I have a slight obsession with figs.

I first tried this juicy fruit not long after I decided to go vegan three years ago. At the time, I was trying very hard to follow the 80/10/10 diet, a form of raw veganism that suggests that a diet of predominately raw fruit, with some raw vegetables, leafy greens and nuts and seeds, is the most ideal way of eating for the human body.

The diet encourages mono meals - which means eating just the one type of food (i.e. fruit) as a 'meal'. An example could be 8 bananas for lunch. Suffice to say, I found this style of eating extremely isolating, and eventually incorporated more cooked vegan food into my lunches and dinners.

But this is where my love for figs began. I was looking into what kinds of fruit grew locally at the time and figs, along with apples, pears, and quinces, were the top growing foods in my area, so that's what I started eating. Figs very much symbolize the beginning of a new way thinking that has changed my life in so many ways.

 The humble fig was the first plant I chose when I asked illustrator Ash Bewicke to  draw seven plants  for me to use as branding for  The Sweet Meadow . No surprises, her fig drawing is my favourite. 

The humble fig was the first plant I chose when I asked illustrator Ash Bewicke to draw seven plants for me to use as branding for The Sweet Meadow. No surprises, her fig drawing is my favourite. 

I also find the history of this plant fascinating. Cultivated since the very beginnings of agriculture for their delicious fruits, fig trees have been relevant for many cultural and religious traditions. Adam and Eve covered themselves with common fig leaves, while the Koran quotes the fruit as a descendant from paradise. Buddha achieved enlightenment under the bodhi tree, a large and old Ficus religiosa, and many fig trees are treasured as trees with magical uses.

The sexual connection cannot be ignored either! References to the sexually suggestive shape of figs, the appearance of the inside of the fruit being associated with femininity (I was told the figs on a mock up of the store's outdoor sign looked like a vagina. I decided to go with just plain text instead), have been popular in many cultures. 

So yes, I'm fig obsessed. For someone that loves eating them everyday, I really don't have a recipe to share as I prefer eating them raw - just as nature intended.