National Fig Newton Day
It is with great joy that we celebrate National Fig Newton Day on January 16th each year, in homage to the singular taste of a beloved American snack.
Invented in 1891 by Charles M. Roser and originally called “the Fig Cookie,” the Fig Newton has since become a hallmark of comfort food, iconic for its combination of crumbly and soft textures, its sweet and subtle flavors, and of course, its perfect size for on-the-go snacking.
Nationally recognized as an official day of celebration in 1994, National Fig Newton Day celebrates a snacktime favorite enjoyed by both children and adults alike. The dried fruit-filled delicacy of the Fig Newton is indulgence in its purest form, sometimes even referred to as a “fig-stuffed biscuit” due to its small, hand-sized shape. The snack is made with the highest quality figs, filled with a sweet fig filling, baked to a golden brown and often served with a warm glass of milk or cold glass of lemonade.
The original Fig Newton is an American classic, with humble New England roots. Its creation is credited to Charles Roser, founder of The Roxbury Latin Biscuit Company based in Massachusetts. Inspired by an old Dutch recipe, Roser discovered a delicious way to combine layers of pastry dough with a fig filling. Around the same time, Roser’s brother-in-law, a real estate developer, was overseeing the construction of a newly-designed village outside of Boston, New-Town (which would later be known as Newton). Charles immediately thought of the new village whenever he thought of his delicious fig-filled biscuits and decided to name his invention after the village it had inspired. Thus, the Fig Newtons were born.
A beloved snack for over one hundred years, Fig Newtons have often been part of popular culture, with appearances in movies and television shows, including “The Simpsons,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and “The Big Bang Theory.” Also, in the early 20th century Fig Newtons quickly became popular in the US and could be found in cafeterias nationwide. By the 1950s and ’60s, the snack’s popularity blossomed in the form of commercials showing a “Toaster Lady” recommending Fig Newtons as the perfect snack for the family. And of course, the iconic jingle “Fig Newtons! Fig Newtons! Fiiiigg Newtons!” soon followed.
Today, the Fig Newton remains a favorite classic snack in many countries, including the United States and Canada. Parents across the globe still reach for the snack when packing school lunches and hosting children’s birthday parties. From the original recipe created by Charles Roser, modern variations of the Fig Newton are now available, including Reduced-Fat and Wheat varieties, made with whole-grain flour and enriched wheat flour, as well as all-natural options, and flavors such as wild berry and strawberry.
So on National Fig Newton Day, let us remember to take a timeout and enjoy a classic snack, at home with a glass of milk or on the go without missing a beat. Toast to Charles Roser’s genius with a Fig Newton today, and take delight in the unparalleled flavor of a time-honored favorite.