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HowStuffWorks "Female Fig Wasp"

Stashed in: Bugs!, Plants!

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Why did I read this article? I love to bbg figs stuffed with gorgonzola. It just won't be the same anymore.

I had no idea:

When a female wasp dies inside an edible fig, an enzyme in the fig called ficin breaks down her carcass into protein. The fig basically digests the dead insect, making it a part of the resulting ripened fruit. The crunchy bits in figs are seeds, not anatomical parts of a wasp. Fig farmers want to keep the number of wasps entering edible figs to an acceptable minimum. While the insect's cooperation is mandatory for the fig to ripen, too many wasps entering will result in over-pollination.

There goes the enjoyment of fig newtons, too. :)

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