My father was fond of fig newtons, so of course all the kids liked ’em too. And he had a forestry degree from Yale, so he knew things! For instance, how the fig newton was invented. See there was a plant kind of like a venus fly trap that would snap shut on anything that fell onto it, known as the “newton bush”. The part that snapped shut was edible but not that tasty, being kind of dry and not sweet. Well, there was a Newton bush that began growing under a fig tree, and sure enough, the inevitable happened, just as an early human was hunting and gathering around the edge of the fig orchard and he saw the bush snap shut on that fig and so he picked it… and it was DELCIOUS. And eventually, bakers learned how to make something that was ALMOST as good as the naturally occurring Newton-fig, and they called it a “fig newton” to distinguish it from the dirty old natural kind. And THAT, my children, is where fig newtons come from.
July 31, 2013