Knowing More About Fig Newtons

Posted in on the 12th March, 2014

Fig Newtons have become one of the more popular treats today. While common and popular, some people may not be aware that Fig Newtons are considered as cookies. It certainly may not always look like one based on its unique shape, but it is a cookie just the same. In a way, it also has an interesting story on how it eventually came to be.

Fig Newton is a unique type of cookie in that it has a different make-up from the conventional cookie that most of us are accustomed to. But it is considered as a cookie. It is unique in that it is a soft square-shaped cookie filled with fig jam or paste. It is also considered as a fig roll, which is an early form of pastry more known as fig rolls.


Fig rolls started out as a way for people to eat biscuits and fruit. Doctors in the late 19th Century believed that most illnesses are a result of digestive problems, which can be remedied by eating biscuits and fruit. During those times, fig rolls provided the most convenient solution. Fig rolls were once locally produced and always hand-made. The Fig Newton in its current version started out sometime in 1891 when Charles Roser, a Philadelphia cookie baker created the recipe for the cookie we now know today. He then sold the recipe to the Kennedy Biscuit Works, the company that later became known as Nabisco. This cookie recipe was initially named as Newton after the town of Newton, Massachusetts, as the company was then known for naming its cookies and crackers after nearby towns. Mass production of Fig Newtons began when James Henry Mitchell invested a machine that can roll out the jam filled cookies at endless lengths and then cut out to smaller pieces. When the original fig jam became popular and got good reviews from customers, the name was eventually changed to Fig Newtons. There are rumors that abound regarding the origins of the Fig Newton name. Some say that Mitchell named it after Sir Isaac Newton. But this is not true. Its name was derived from the Massachusetts town near where the Kennedy Biscuit Works was located. The company was later associated with the New York Biscuit Company. They eventually merged and became Nabisco. The company then trademarked the name Fig Newtons.

Currently, Fig Newtons have become Nabisco’s third best selling product. It has also expanded to other similar cookies but with different fillings. There are also whole grain and fat-free Fig Newton varieties available.