“Andalusian Wild Figs®”
The Andalusian Wild Fig is a small pale fig with green skin and pink flesh. For as long as anyone can remember they have been a part of the Andalusian landscape, growing wild naturally.
Unlike domestic fig cultivation, in which male flowers only meet female ones through human intervention, in the case of wild figs from the Alpujarras, pollination is performed by tiny fig wasps (blastophaga) that carry pollen from male flowers to female flowers inside the figs.
It is on small family-run plots called “cortijos” on the slopes of the Alpujarras that the ancestral traditions regarding wild figs are continued today, with full respect for the environment. These smallholders use none of the inputs habitually deployed by fig producers:
- No fertilisers
- No pesticides or insecticides
- No irrigation
Human intervention is only required for tilling the soil; with the help of donkeys since the steep inclines impede the use of heavy machinery. The fig trees receive the little water that they require from the sea air, which easily condenses because of the vast day-night temperature range in the Alpujarra mountains.
In September the first Andalusian Wild Figs, which start to dry on the trees, are hand-picked and then laid out to dry in the sun, exactly where they were harvested, for four to six days.
Harvesting is staggered between September and November, depending on altitude.