No fruit has been the subject of legends more often than the fig, the most frequently mentioned fruit in the Bible. This paradise fruit (lat. Ficus carica) is one of the oldest cultivated fruits, and apart from olives and grapes, it is the most common plant in the Mediterranean. It is the product of its surrounds, weather-resistant and with a high fertility rate, making it a symbol of fertility and opulence among the people.
Figs were highly valued in folk medicine and cuisine because of their medicinal and nutritional qualities, low levels of calories, and edible leaves. Some derive most pleasure from the taste of fresh figs; however, their dried counterpart is not without merit, and it can become a perfect complement to salty dishes. Figs are also used to make grappa, and in the coastal parts of Croatia it is usually served with the popular smokvenjak – a cake made from dried figs with nuts, grappa, and with medicinal and aromatic plants added for flavour.