Der Feigenhandel im Hanseraum
The fig trade in the Hanseatic Area
From the 13th Century onwards, figs were of considerable importance in North European trade. Figs were not only a luxury good, valued as a sweetener at a time when there were few alternatives, they also carved out a prominent place for themselves in the Lenten cuisine. By this time, figs were so common in North European cities that their seeds are found regularly in the archaeobotanical material. But where did these figs come from and how were they traded? This article shows the geographical origins of the figs consumed in the Hanseatic Area, the routes on which they were traded and the units of measure employed as well as the overall extent of the trade in figs. Finally, some aspects of the fig-trade are described, chiefly on the basis of the letters and account books of the Hanseatic merchant Hildebrand Veckinchusen.