July/August/September 2012 Fig Focus

Host a Party with International Flair and Flavor!

We are a global community in so many ways, enjoying food, music and sports from around the world. No matter what the sport or where the athete hails from, we love and appreciate experiencing outstanding athletic accomplishments.

Now is the perfect time to get together with friends, talk about the diversity of sports across the globe and enjoy some great food. How about an appetizer and dessert party with all the recipes having connections to different countries around the world?

Did you know that figs were a token of honor and used as a training food by early competitive athletes? And, figs were presented as laurels to ancient athletic competitors.

Take a photo from your party and share it on our Facebook page. Include one of your recipes, too.

Foods from Around the World

We combed our recipe files for desserts and appetizers with connections to countries throughout the world to get your party planning started. Have your guests each bring an appetizer or dessert from a country they’ve visitied or would like to visit someday.

Global Dessert Trivia

Brownies were originally created by a chef at the Palmer House in Chicago at the end of the nineteenth century. Bertha Palmer requested a dessert for ladies attending the fair that would be smaller than a piece of cake, yet still cake-like, and could be easily eaten from a box lunch.

Napoleons are a beloved treat with different names depending where you are in the world. In France, they’re called mille-feuille; in England they’re known as vanilla slice, cream slice, or custard slice; in the US they’re called Napoleons; and in Italy they’re known as mille foglie, meaning leaves. With all the countries sharing such a delicious and impressive looking dessert, it’s perfect for an around the world party.

Cheesecake is a beloved dessert. While many assume that it has its origins in New York, it actually dates back over 4,000 years to ancient Greece! In Greece, cheesecake was considered to be a good source of energy, and there is evidence that it was served to athletes during competition in 776 B.C.

International Sports Food Trivia

  • The diet of athletes in ancient times differed radically from that of modern day elite athletes. However, the need for protein to build muscle and carbohydrate for energy was no different.
  • Early records point to a cheese- and fruit-based diet for the first competitive athletes, and later on the dietary emphasis shifted to meat. Other ancient diet tips for athletes also included avoiding bread right before competition and eating dried figs, thought to build muscle and stamina. As for drinking, wine was popular in ancient Greek times for both drinking and cooking. Even Hippocrates once reportedly gave the advice to athletes with sore muscles to “Get drunk once or twice”.
  • As it is today, food has always played an important part in the life of athletes. In fact the winner of the running race (the stadion) in 776 BC was a cook, Koroibos from Elis.
  • Food was a big part of life in ancient Greece. The diet of most people mainly consisted of breads, vegetables and fruits. These staples are what we now consider an integral part of the Mediterranean Diet, an eating pattern that has been linked to the low rate of heart disease in the region.

How about adding some of your own sports trivia and have fun at your party seeing who can answer the most questions. You can give fig laurels to all the winners.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

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