Did you know that Hershey's Kiss's are actually small jungle creatures that are caught, skinned, and their bodies stuffed with cocoa before undergoing an extended smoking process that causes the cocoa to infuse the flesh transforming them into the wonderful treat we know and love so much?
Yeeeahh....I know. Not one of my better openings. I blame the decongestants. My allergies have been terrible this weekend and I've had to take so many pills just to get the sneezing to stop hat I'm not thinking clearly. I'm actually thinking opaque.
In reality, those are figs. Figs are an edible.....thing....that I won't touch. I find them nasty. It all stems from my childhood when Fig Newtons were the only cookie my maternal grandmother ever bought. (paternal granny baked chocolate chip cookies constantly)
As a result, when it came time for snacks, a glass of milk and plate of fig newtons were foisted upon me. And snacks were something a growing child needed, so, eat them I had to. (everybody knows you don't mess with grannies when they tell you to eat)
So, I don't like figs. Well, I might, but I refuse to eat them. I really don't think I'm missing anything. I've eaten some of the other flavor newtons, and they are all nasty. So, I'm sure the fig variety are the same.
And after today, you might reconsider your consumption of figs.
That's right, today is Made Up Monday! I'll tell you something and you tell me if it's true or not.
But first, a bit of background on how plants reproduce.
Plants have sex. Not in the way humans have sex, but it's still sex. The male has to get his pollen into the female to fertilize the plant so it can reproduce. It's basic sex. Your parents probably told you about it by describing a story about birds and bees that did nothing but confuse you.
Since plants can't move from their fixed location, they're at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes time to do the dirty. And that's why nature invented orgies! I mean insects.
Insects, like the bee, visit flowers to collect nectar, and in the process, gather up pollen. Then when they visit a different flower, they deposit some of the pollen they picked up. Sex has been achieved. It's been theorized that plants produce nectar for the sole purpose of attracting insects to help the pollination process.
Bees aren't the only insect that helps the plants. There are many, many, insects who do the job. In fact, there are many flowers and insects who have developed special relationships. One particular species of insect will be responsible for helping one species of flower.
And in the case of figs, that insect is the Fig Wasp.
And now, we move into the realm of Made Up Monday. You tell me if the following is true or made up.
Female fig wasps are responsible for fertilizing the figs. What they do is, they enter the fig through the top of the fruit. They carry pollen in with them, and deposit it to impregnate the fig. Well, the female ones, at least. She will also lay her eggs in the fig.
If the eggs hatch out a female, she collects pollen and flies off to spread the cheer, as it were. If the eggs hatch out males, well, they stay in the fig, boring out tunnels for the female to get out. Then they die. In the fig.
But don't worry, those are the figs you don't eat.
The figs you eat are actually non-reproducing figs. So when the female wasp flies in, she can't deliver her pollen, and there's something inside the fig that stops her from laying eggs. And since there's no males to bore her a tunnel to get out, she's trapped.
After a day or so, she dies. Then the fig is picked, processed and you eat it.
Oh, removing the wasp from the fig isn't part of the process.
So, when you eat fig, you are eating wasp. Because, sex.
True or not?