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Manta - Ecuador

The most traditional fig dessert in Ecuador

Figs have been around for centuries. It is a native plant of the middle east where it was cultivated for its fruit starting centuries ago.


It is probably one of the first plant cultivated by humans, it even predates the domestication before wheat. Both Aristotle and Theophrastus described it in their works. They were a common food for the Romans also.


Fig found its way to Portugal, Afghanistan, India and then it was brought to California by Spanish missionaries. Portuguese traders brought it to Brazil where it spread throughout South America.


In our country figs are cultivated in all cities and climates. It is a very unique plant in that in can grow under very diverse climates.


Historically it has been used and consumed more for medicinal purposes rather than in desserts for example. The old wives’ tales about figs are being found to be true by science nowadays, well most of them at least.


Figs are a source of vitamins like A, B1, and B2, those two last are known for their antioxidant properties, they also contain other omega fatty acids.


Go to any traditional market and ask the lady there what is fig good for and she will start listing many properties such as: it is good to cure bad breath and mouth ulcers; soaking it in milk overnight and drinking it in the morning is considered an aphrodisiac; it can dissolve kidney stones; it can cure acne; it can control diabetes; strengthens bones, helps to lose weight, and many many other properties that help the hair, the skin and other uses.


In Ecuador figs are consumed primarily in two forms, cooked and covered in sugar and also, and the favorite way for Ecuadorians to eat figs is cooked in syrup and accompanied by cheese. It may sound odd but it is definitely a delicious way to consume them. Here the recipe should you want to repeat it at home after trying it in Ecuador.


What you will need:

20 firm, ripe, washed figs

A dash of baking soda

1 ¾ lbs of compressed brown sugar

Cinnamon, cloves,


Some fresh cheese.



How to make it:

Make a cross with a knife on the upper (narrower) part of the figs

Put them in a pot and cover them with water. Leave them there for a whole day.

Next day throw that water away and cover the figs with fresh water, about 8 cups.

Add the baking soda and put it to boil until the figs are soft, around 15 to 20 minutes of boiling.

Leave the figs soaking in this water for another whole day.

Next day, throw the water and try to dry each fig gently since they are very soft by now.

Put the compressed brown sugar and the spices in another pot and add 6 cups of water. Cook it until the sugar dissolves completely and starts to get a little like syrup.

Add the figs, turn the heat down and keep cooking until the liquid becomes really thick and syrupy, that will take about 2 to 3 hours.

Serve the figs either hot or cold and accompany them with the fresh cheese cut in medium size pieces.


Don’t miss the opportunity to visit experience new tastes!! And especially become a part of Montecristi Golf Club.

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Here in Start Living you will find all kind of information you need for traveling around Ecuador. We invite you to visit and discover this wonderful country and live ...

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