What is a Fig Newton? Fig Newton Fun Facts, Recipe and History

Every year on January 16, the nation honors the delightful pastry known as the “Fig Newton.”The storied Nabisco baking enterprise was born and maybe in part because of the humble Fig Newton what is a fig newton?

what is a fig newton

The internet is rife with fascinating facts about everything, from current affairs to historical basket weaving and entertaining facts about Isaac Newton.

We learn some things that we simply did not know when we conduct research for our daily articles on food trucks, food carts, and street cuisine.

About Fig Newton

The accident created one of the first commercially made goods in America, the legendary Fig Newton when a Philadelphia cookie maker, a Florida inventor, and over 100 bakeries in New York and Chicago merged.

The storied Nabisco baking enterprise was born and maybe in part as a result of the humble Fig Newton.

With more than 1,200 employees and an annual production of 320 pounds of snack items, its bakery in Chicago is currently the biggest bakery in the world.

The Baker of Cookies

Ohio-born cookie baker Charles M. Roser came up with the recipe for the fig filling. Roser sold his formula to the Kennedy Biscuit firm while a Philadelphia bakery employed him.

 Despite rumors to the contrary, Kennedy Biscuit called the cookie Newton after the Massachusetts town, not the pioneering physicist Isaac Newton.

 The Boston-based bakery had a tradition of naming their cookies after nearby towns, and at the time they developed the Newton, they already had cookies with names like Beacon Hill, Harvard, and Shrewsbury.

Roser most likely based his recipe on fig rolls, a locally produced homemade cookie that British immigrants had previously brought to the United States.

The cookie’s inside is a jammy scoop of fig baked inside a flaky pastry shell. Although Nabisco’s recipes are (obviously) proprietary, recent copies advise beginning with dried mission figs and blending in applesauce, orange juice, and orange zest as you go.

More exotic recipes might also include some ground almonds, currants, crystallized ginger, and Medjool dates.

The Mechanism

James Henry Mitchell of Florida invented the device that could create a hollow cookie crust and fill it with fruit preserves, revolutionizing the packaged cookie industry and paving the way for the production of Fig Newtons.

 His device functioned as a funnel within a funnel, with the exterior funnel pumping out the dough while the internal funnel supplied jam.

They created an unending length of the filled cookie a result, which could later be divided into smaller pieces.

The dough-sheeting machine, the machine for making sugar wafers, and the machine for accelerating cake production were all inventions by Mitchell that were put into use by the forerunners of Nabisco.

The Union

Bakeries started joining towards the end of the 19th century to create cookies in large quantities for the expanding middle-class consumer.

William Moore of New York found the New York Biscuit Company, which included Kennedy Biscuit, in 1889 by purchasing eight bakeries.

In 1890, Adolphus Green of Chicago founded the American Biscuit Company by combining 40 bakeries in the Midwest.

When Moore and Green united in 1898 to form the National Biscuit Company or N.B.C., it was a match made in heaven.

The equipment for Mitchell and Roser’s cookie recipe was among the purchases.

N.B.C. began manufacturing sugar wafers in large quantities in 1901 after purchasing Mitchell’s machine for the purpose. Mitchell and Roser both made rich.

From NBC to Nabisco

N.B.C. had 114 bakeries and $55 million in the capital in 1898. In what is now known as Chelsea Market, they constructed a sizable bakery and kept adding to it.

Adolphus Green served as the project’s principal architect and insisted on using standard recipes for N.B.C.’s goods.

They kept producing the two massively popular goods that the little bakery businesses had produced: Premium Saltines and Fig Newtons (they added the Fig to the name after the cookie garnered positive reviews).

Uneeda Biscuit was a brand-new cookie that was created in 1898, and despite the ridiculous name, N.B.C. even sued rivals who dubbed their biscuits Uwanta and Ulika for copyright infringement.

 Barnum’s Animal Crackers were first made available by N.B.C. in 1903, while the unstoppable Oreos and Lorna Doone shortbread cookies were first debuted by the company in 1912.

Recent Modifications to the Fig Newton

By the 1980s, Nabisco had substituted raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries for the fig jam in its cookies, besides adding an apple cinnamon flavor.

 According to Gary Osifchin, a Kraft specialist, they sought to change the core of the brand to fruit in 2012, therefore they once again eliminated the “Fig” from the name.

With the baggage of the fig, it was going to be difficult for us to advance the Newtons brand.

We’ll Look at Some Fig Newton Trivia

A Fig Newton is a tender biscuit with fig jam within. A device created in 1891 enabled the ability to produce Fig Newtons in large quantities.

 James Henry Mitchell created a device that functioned like a funnel inside of a funnel.

The inside funnel provided the jam, while the outside funnel blasted out the dough, resulting in an unending length of filled cookie that was then divided into smaller pieces.

  1. The Kennedy Biscuit Works in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts, invented Fig Newton in 1891. Many of their other cookies bore the names of surrounding towns, and they were on the verge of calling this one the “Fig Shrewsbury” before Newton won out.
  2. A different version of the story goes that Charles Roser, the man who invented the Fig Newton, used his cookie recipe in his plant in Kenton, Ohio, and sold it to Nabisco in 1910.
  3. They named fig Newtons after either Sir Isaac Newton or the Massachusetts town of Newton, according to Nabisco.
  4. The 16th of January is National Fig Newton Day.
  5. One of the earliest goods to be baked for sale in America was the Fig Newton.
  6. They consume annually over 1 billion Fig Newtons, making them the third most popular cookie in the United States.


Have you ever paired a hot beverage like tea or coffee with a Fig Newton? If not, you most likely haven’t appreciated Fig Newtons to their fullest extent.

They are convenient to take with you on the run in the morning and go well with coffee. Afternoon tea The ideal snack to go with your hot beverage is a Fig Newton.

They go well with other warm beverages as well, such as hot cider. They go well together, especially of year.

Frequently Asked Questions

The product was named after the city of Newton, Massachusetts. The Kennedy Biscuit Company had recently become associated with the New York Biscuit Company, and the two merged to form Nabisco—after which, the fig rolls were trademarked as “Fig Newtons”.

Charles M. Roser

The recipe for the fig filling was the brainchild of Charles M. Roser, a cookie maker born in Ohio. Roser worked for a bakery in Philadelphia that sold his recipe to the Kennedy Biscuit Company.

“Fig” Newton (born December 24, 1942) is a retired United States Air Force four-star general who served as Commander, of Air Education and Training Command (COMAETC) from 1997 to 2000. He was also the first African-American pilot in the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

In 1891, they produced the first Fig Newtons baked at the F.A. Kennedy Steam Bakery. The company named the pastries after the town of Newton, Massachusetts. After recently becoming associated, the Kennedy Biscuit Company and the New York Biscuit company merged to form Nabisco.

No, dogs shouldn’t eat fig newtons. Although nothing in these cookies is immediately toxic to dogs, they pose more health concerns than nutritional benefits. If your dog has a piece every now and then there shouldn’t be anything to worry about, just don’t give them to your dog regularly.

They are also fairly healthy. Figs are well known for having fiber, which helps with digestion, as well as protein and several vitamins and minerals. This means there are quite a few health benefits of fig bars like fig Newtons.

And Fig Newtons made their debut in 1891. Trouble is, while the original recipes for many snacks have kept Americans happy for generations, Fig Newtons have had a peculiar problem—namely, figs.

Cookies will soften as they rest. Fig Newtons cookies keep for up to a week at room temperature. Up to a month stored in the fridge. You can freeze cookies for up to 6 months.

Since your fresh figs are going to vary widely in size, measuring by weight is the best way to go. What is this? In my original recipe for Fresh Fig Newtons, I called for 16 figs. The figs I used in my initial recipe development were HUGE though, at least compared to the figs my tree puts off.

Fig Newtons of course contain figs as an ingredient, and yes, figs are vegan. There has been some controversy with some people saying that figs are not vegan, but that’s not true. When a wasp pollinates a fig, it does die, but that is just a natural process. There is no animal exploitation involved, so figs are vegan.

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