Mission Fig & Smyrna Fig (1888)
Bapopik at AOL.COM
Bapopik at AOL.COM
Thu Apr 17 12:53:49 UTC 2003
"Mission fig" is not in the revised OED. I've had this around for a while
now thinking I could do better, but might as well post it.
Every book mentions "mission fig." FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION: "...hence the
now-popular Mission fig." OXFORD COMPANION TO FOOD: "In 1769 the Franciscan
mission at San Diego was founded and began to grow a Spanish black common fig
which (under the names of Mission or Franciscana) came to be a leading
variety." Mariani's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN FOOD AND DRINK: "...the
Mission fig owes it name to the Spanish missions set up in California, in the
1700s, where 100 percent of the fig crop is cultivated, predominantly around
Madera, Fresno, and Merced counties. Today the most important varieties of
figs cultivated are the 'mission,' 'Calimyrna,' 'San Pedro,' 'Kadota,'
'Adriatic,' and 'Brown Turkey.'"
The leading variety of fig--not in the revised OED.
And the Smyrna fig? A check of the OED shows "Smyrna fig" was coined in
the 1897 Sears Roebuck Catalogue.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
DIVISION OF POMOLOGY
Bulletin No. 1
REPORT ON THE CONDITION OF TROPICAL AND SEMI-TROPICAL FRUITS
IN THE UNITED STATES IN 1887
Washington: Government Printing Office
Pg. 111: TROPICAL AND SEMI-TROPICAL FRUITS OF CALIFORNIA, ARIZONA, AND NEW
(Report dated October 15, 1887--ed.)
Pg. 140: MISSION
The common fig in California is the so-called Mission, raised either from
seed by the missionary fathers or brought from Mexico. It is a large
vigorous-growing tree, instances of which have been given above, the fruit is
small and dark colored. It is an abundant bearer, and its fruit, when
properly dried, is very good, and we understand sells quite well in the
eastern markets. This fig bears considerably the third and fourth year from
There exist in California quite a number of varieties of figs the
nomenclature of which is in great confusion. The San Pedro is what has been
generally called the White Smyrna, a fine eating variety, but not adapted to
drying; greenish-white, white flesh, small seeds.
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