Figs aren’t the most popular fruit. In fact, you might even be hard-pressed to find somebody who has eaten a fig just by itself. You might’ve had them on specialty pizzas or in a bizarrely delicious snack known as the Fig Newton. Figs are most commonly found as a dried fruit item year-round, but their unique, sweet flavor combined with the peculiar texture of their “shell” makes them a great treat.
Well, even though you might not have ever eaten an actual fig, this little bit of information may make you even less likely to try one. Figs aren’t really fruit as much as they are flowers, which means they need pollination. As a result, female wasps will lay their eggs inside male figs (which we don’t eat) and then die. However, if a female wasp tries to lay eggs inside a female fig (which we do eat), it will die and get stuck inside. So, while it’s not guaranteed, it’s possible you’re eating the leftovers of a female wasp in your fig.
Not to worry, though. Between the time that the wasp dies and the fig is eaten, it produces special enzymes that break down the wasp’s exoskeleton so that you won’t even notice it. However, sometimes it doesn’t quite get all of it, which is why some vegans choose not to eat fig products. If you’ve ever actually eaten a fig, you may just have experienced one of nature’s miracles.