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History, Myths and Legends

Figs are one of the most ancient plants in human history. The earliest agricultural civilizations in Mesopotamia, Palestine, and Egypt cultivated figs, and the practice slowly spread throughout the Mediterranean region. A few years ago, researchers from Harvard University discovered an archaeological site called Gigal near the Jordan River. Researchers found small, fossilized figs in this ancient village inhabited circa 11,400 years ago, proving that figs were cultivated much earlier than had been previously thought, and about a thousand years before orzo and grain. Based on these findings, it is likely that figs originated in the Middle East, even if other evidence seems to indicate that figs are originally from Asia Minor. In any case, it is certain that figs are quite ancient. Pliny the Elder claimed that eating figs "increases strength in young people, improves the health of old people and reduces wrinkles". The Emperor Augustus ate figs with his cheese and fish, and Seneca considered figs, when eaten with bread, a complete meal. Dried figs are mentioned in the satires written by Horace, as well as in the writings of Columella, who left behind an important work on the agriculture of ancient Rome. Both the Greeks and Romans cultivated large quantities of figs, especially in areas where grapes, olives and citrus were grown. Such areas include modern day Puglia, Campania, Sicilia and, of course, Calabria, where to this day farmers continue to sun dry figs just as the ancients did, and fig production continues to grow. For three generations the Marano Brothers have been using these same figs to prepare their products, which have been grown and eaten in this region for millennia. In the bible, for example, fig leaves are cited as the first "clothes," worn by Adam and Eve. In India, the fig tree is the holy tree of Vishnu and Shiva, and later became the cosmic tree of the Buddha's Enlightenment. The ancient Egyptians also considered fig trees to be holy. Even the ancient Egyptians considered fig trees to be of cosmic importance, tied to the phoenix and the rebirth of Osiris, who was the sun to the ancient Egyptians. It was, in other words, the tree of life. In Greece, fig trees played a central role in many myths. Fig trees were sacred in ancient Greece, and it was believed that the god Dionysus was responsible for the birth of this tree. Plato was a great lover of figs, which is why he was known as the "fig-eater." He recommended the eating of figs because, according to him, figs increase intelligence. In ancient Rome, fig trees were sacred to Mars who, according to legend, was the true founder of the eternal city and father of Romulus and Remus, twins who were raised by a wolf and fed of her milk under the shade of a fig tree. To the ancient Romans, the fig tree was a sacred plant, along with grape vines and olive trees. Reproduction, even partial, of this article is allowed only if cited from the source, Offenders will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.


WHY FIGS? Because they're handmade and artisanally produced, completely natural and gluten free. Because they're an ancient and traditional product, made how our grandparents used to. We've also developed new recipes over the years in order to offer greater variety and satisfy every palate.

BUT AREN'T FIGS A CALORIE "BOMB"? Figs are very sweet, and contain a lot of natural sugar, but contrary to what people think they have fewer calories than other fruit, such as grapes or mandarins. Our products are completely natural, without colorants, preservatives, added fat or vegetable oils. Compared to industrially produced snacks, which often have double the calories, it's clear that our figs aren't a "bomb" at all, but instead a healthy snack, full of vitamins and minerals.

HOW SHOULD THEY BE EATEN? The great thing about our products is that they can be eaten at any time of day. They make a healthy and energizing breakfast, a terrific snack at any time of day, and when eaten at the end of a meal can be considered both the fruit and dessert portion. Our figs, both the traditional and chocolate covered varieties, pair well with after dinner liqueurs and dessert wines, as well as quality rums and cognacs.

HOW MANY PRODUCTS DO YOU MAKE? We offer more than 30 different fig based products. Our passion for this extraordinary fruit is so strong that we want to share it with everyone! With this goal in mind, we are constantly on the hunt for new recipes with which to conquer the hearts and palates of all who try them. In short, the number of products we offer is destined to grow.

ARE THE MARANO BROTHERS' PRODUCTS HIGH QUALITY? A gifted artisan never brags about the quality of his products, but instead leaves others to do it for him. Therefore, based on the feedback we've recieved from people of all ages and from all corners of the globe, we can only say one thing about our products: try them, enjoy them, and judge them for yourselves….

WHAT IS THE NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF FIGS? Figs, above all when dried, are highly nutritous and an important source of energy. Figs are fat, cholesterol, and salt free, and contain a large amount of soluble fiber. Figs can be integrated into the diets of children, the elderly, pregnant women, and athletes for their high fiber content and energizing effect, which helps to relieve physical and mental exhaustion of all kinds. Figs contain enzymes that facilitate digestion and nutrient absorption. Rich in potassium, iron, and calcium, figs help keep bones and teeth strong, eyesight sharp, and protect the skin. Figs are heart-friendly thanks to their high levels of polyphenols, a natural antioxidant. As you can see, it isn't by chance that figs have been a part of the Mediterraneon diet for thousands of years.