Today is National Fig Newton Day. So, I thought I'd take a moment to express my feelings about the one household snack that traumatized me growing up.

Does anyone out there like figs? I ask, because not a single person I've roped into having a fig discussion with me today does. My inquiries have been mostly met by sour-faced, re-creations.

(Cue the violins)

My mother and father split up when I was about five years old. So, my older brother and I would spend summers with my dad and winters with mom. While I enjoyed time with my father during this period, my food and snack choices were horribly limited. My diet consisted of mainly Hungry-Man Salisbury Steak dinners, Squirt soda, Otter Pops and Fig Newtons.

My father knew how much my brother and I despised Fig Newtons, so he bought them in bulk. There was always a bounty of these horrible, dry, preservative-filled cookies in our pantry. I hated Nabisco for the majority of my youth.

Fig trees, I've also discovered, have no connection whatsoever to the state of Idaho. Like...none. The tree, as it turns out, is impossible to grow here, unless you do it indoors. I had to call an expert.

"Yea, it doesn't bode well with our winters," said Darlene McDonald, an employee and horticulturist at Kimberly Nurseries, in Twin Falls. "They thrive in a Mediterranean climate."

So, it's too cold to grow fig trees in Idaho?

"They won't survive in a zone five climate. That's where temperatures get down to between negative ten and fifteen degrees," said McDonald. "Idaho does have great success with other zone five trees, such as apples, peaches and pears."

I learned a great deal from Darlene today. Like, for instance, did you know the Ficus Tree is in the fig family. I didn't either.

Anyway, if you are someone who can't get enough of fig-based snack foods, then I'm sorry if I offended you. I guess if I could think of one positive thing that came from my time being forced to eat Fig Newtons, it would be the amount of water I had to chase with these cookies in an attempt to cure the ridiculous case of cotton-mouth that resulted.






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