National Fig Newton Day is observed annually on January 16.
A Nabisco trademarked version of the fig roll, Newtons are a pastry filled with fig paste. Fig Newton’s have an unusual shape that is a characteristic which has been adopted by many competitors including generic fig bars.
It was up until the 19th century that many physicians believed that most illnesses were related to digestion problems and they recommended a daily intake of biscuits and fruit. The ideal solution to this advice was fig rolls, which remained a locally produced and handmade product.
In 1891, Philadelphia baker and fig-lover, Charles Roser, invented and patented the machine which inserted fig paste into a thick pastry dough. Roser’s recipe was then purchased by Cambridgeport, Massachusetts-based Kennedy Biscuit Company and mass production began. In 1891, the first Fig Newtons were baked at the F.A. Kennedy Steam Bakery. The pastries are named after the town of Newton, Massachusetts.
After recently becoming associated, the Kennedy Biscuit Company and the New York Biscuit company merged to form Nabisco and the fig rolls were then trademarked as “Fig Newtons.”
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