top of page

Fig bread for the eternity

Phoenicians, Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Otomans: Mankind has benefited from this simple recipe since time immemorial. Its long shelf life, high nutritional value and mild taste have conquered different civilisations in different ages. The archaeological remains found over the last 100 years on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea and in its hinterland tell us about a simple and nutritious recipe that has been available to rich and poor alike and has nourished people for (at least) 11000 years.

This ancient recipe was an important expression of mediterranean food systems for Millenia The pottery vessel discovered in Tel Miqne, Ekron (Israel) in 1996 during an excavation and presumably buried in the 7th century BC had the inscription "dbl". The name is related to the ancient Hebrew, Ugaritic, Arabic and Aramaic languages and means "dried figs" or "fig bread". Currently, "pan de higo" is positioning itself as a product that is marketed both as a medicine (especially in the Middle East) and as a delicacy (in Europe).

The varieties of fig bread presented here focus on nutritional value: They have to taste good, yes, but in principle they should provide valuable nutrients. Since dried figs are very rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants, you can use them to make very nutritious meals in raw food quality with a meat grinder (or a press). The figs that I dry myself outdoors came directly from my ancient fig orchard , and if necessary, I add other ingredients from my farm such as pomegranate, fennel seeds, pacay, mulberries and nettle.

orchard ancient trees.jpg

The ancient fig trees in December.

canastas cosecha 2021 plano general.jpg

Fresh figs after picking. 

higos y granada sihuas 2021.jpg

Sun dried figs with some pomegranate seeds.

pan de ortiga galilea.jpg

Using nettle can be useful in order to increase the amount of iron of fig bread.

panforte raw 2.jpg

Panforte from the Middle Ages.


Traditional fig bread.


Fig bread and sprouted rye.

fuet de higo varias-4.jpg

Fig Salami, Tarwi (Lupinus) Powder and Nuts.

hanf pan de higo 2020.jpg

Fig bread with hemp seeds.

pralines lejos.jpg

Dried fig balls with nettle, tarwi and mulberry.


Dried fig dolmakia.

pan ficatum y abeja.jpg

"Ficatum" bread (fig paste and sprouted wheat).

prensado de higo.jpg

Fig bread (Valencia style).

panforte cacao quillabamba.jpg

Raw Panforte made with fig paste and cacao powder from Tingo María.

pan de higo y nispero.jpg

Fig bread and fennel.

pan de higos 2023 santiago.jpg

Different versions of the mediterranean fig bread (rosemary, maca powder, tarwi powder and fennel seeds).

Hard and delicate, the fig bread was a true companion for farmers, soldiers and was accesible for rural populations in the Mediterranean area for Millenia. It's long storability, culinary versatility and simplicity were important traits for its expansion through Eurasia. Now days this ancient recipe has traditional expressions that are still popular, like the pa de figa in Mallorca, the Smokvenjak in Croatia or the Salamino di Fico in Marche (Italy).


Dvora Namdar and Irit Ziffer. "Figs in History and Art". In: Advances in Fig Research and Sustainable Production. CABI. 2021.

Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala. "Coge un cataplasma de higos, ponla en la llaga y sanarás y vivirás". Terminología médica especializada en una traducción árabe del episodio de la enfermedad del rey Ezequías. Panace@. Vol. XX. N. 49. Primer semestre, 2019. 


bottom of page