LOS ANGELES, CA - Are you a fig lover? Fig jam, preserves, tarts, or like them just how they are? Well then, be prepared to get a little grossed out because it turns out that most of the figs you eat contain at least one dead wasp.
Yes, that’s right. It turns out that figs are technically not fruit- they are inverted flowers. But their flowers bloom inside the pear shaped pod, which later matures into the fruit that we eat, all thanks to a wasp's great sacrifice.
Because fig flowers bloom internally, they need a special process of pollination. They cannot rely on the wind or bees to spread their pollen, that’s where the fig wasp comes in.
The female fig wasp enters the male fig (we don’t eat the male figs, by the way) to lay its eggs. Once it’s in, there is no way out. It’s up to the baby wasps to continue the life cycle.
If a fig wasp enters a female fig accidentally (the ones we do eat) then the wasp dies inside, which is unfortunate but necessary because that’s how it delivers the pollen which gives us the fruit we love
So, yes, technically when you bite into a fig you are in fact chowing down on a dead wasp. But hey, at least they are incredibly small. We guess that means figs aren’t exactly vegan.