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  • Honey Figs. Do I Need More than 3 Varieties?

    Now that I've been exposed to more honey figs.. I'm wondering if there's much difference in them in terms of taste. To me.. the few honey figs I've had taste about the same. What I'm trying to figure out is.. is it worth having more than an early, mid & late honey fig?

    Honey figs described by AscPete, "Honey sweet, ranging from lightly sweet to very sweet with rich (creamy) and or complex additional flavors. Fig flavor can range from none to light. Seed crunch can range from none to strong with nutty flavor."

    I consider all of these honey figs, and I'm wondering which of these is your favorite and stands out among the rest. Or perhaps you have a favorite not listed:
    Brooklyn White
    Cajun Gold
    Corky's Honey Delite
    Garnsey White Seedless
    Goccia d'Oro
    Golden Celeste
    Golden Riverside
    Italian Honey
    LSU Champagne
    LSU Gold
    LSU Hollier
    LSU Scott's Yellow
    Mary Lane Seedless
    Panevino White
    Peter's Honey
    Salem White
    St. Anthony
    Sweet Joy
    Syrian Honey
    Troiano Calabrese
    White Genoa
    White Ischia
    White Marseilles
    White Sicilian
    White Texas Everbearing
    White Triana
    Yellow Long Neck
    Yellow Neches
    Sicilian White
    Zone 7A - Philadelphia
    Flavor Profiles & Variety List / Facebook / YouTube / Blog

  • #2
    I still have more varieties to taste and need to sample more of the ones that I've tasted but so far the honey fig varieties have all tasted different for me unlike a lot of the dark berry/bordeaux which taste almost identical and I probably wouldn't be able to pick one out from another. I may change my mind as trees age but for now:

    Beall (UCD) tasted very good with a good watermelon flavor.
    Brooklyn White which I think is the Bass version tasted strongly of honeydew melon vs the nature_park version which I hear tastes like strawberry glaze. Should be excellent for anyone that likes honeydew.
    Atreano not sure how to describe the flavor but different from the others and I look forward to tasting more.
    Golden Celeste (probably LSU Champagne and not UCD) was just sweet bland for me but it was the first fig so...
    My unknown which looks like it could be a Celeste which I suppose should be in the sugar category tasted like a big ball of honey bee honey and was delicious but small and so far unproductive.
    I don't recall store bought Kadota tasting like any of the above either.
    Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Verdolino, Black Celeste


    • #3
      You need them all. What are you saying?

      In reality, a good question. I think it will depend ultimately on location, situation, and growing conditions. In my location (WV 6b), situation (limited room, somewhat limited sun), and growing conditions (root escape pots; winter garage storage), so far I've found the following:
      • quality brebas: Lattarula/Marseilles, Kadotas/Trojano, Desert King
      • main crop delicate honey flavor, not too late: Lattarula/Marseilles, LSU Champagne
      • main crop thick or caramel honey flavor, not too late: LSU Gold, Kadotas, Excel
      • others first rate, not too late: Long Yellow, Peter's Honey
      • good but not very productive: Lemon/Blanche
      • good but late: Mary Lane, Alma
      And if you consider Brooklyn White to be a honey fig, it's robust, rugged, prolific.
      And if you consider Atreano to be a honey fig, it is big and early but tends to watery here.
      And if you consider White Triana to be a honey fig, not strawberry, well, it's a premier fig.

      If I had to limit: Brooklyn White, Lattarula/Marseilles, Kadotas/Trojano, Champagne, Excel, Long Yellow, LSU Gold, Peter's Honey. Not much of a limit, I guess. Those first three first, since they can all give you breba figs in July and between them main crop in August and September. (Not that I see BW as a true honey fig.) The fourth, fifth honeys at this point would be a toss-up pending further information. Peter's Honey and Long Yellow may be the premier honey figs that I've tasted but if so the others are competitive. I tend to prioritize earliness and productivity (with solid flavor), which in my zone tend to go hand in glove. (Lattarula and Marseilles (and/or St. Anthony and/or Italian Honey) may be a couple different figs, one green, one yellow - still trying to sort that out).
      Tony WV 6b


      • ross
        ross commented
        Editing a comment
        I appreciate the info, Tony.

        If Brooklyn White, Atreano & White Triana are not honey figs.. how would you classify them?

      • mountainfigs
        mountainfigs commented
        Editing a comment
        The pulps of BW, WT, and Atreano don't have the golden honey look or taste here and instead range from pinkish to reddish and have corresponding fruity tastes. A lot of dark figs with red interiors have a berry jam or jelly flavor. These three can have a light berry jelly flavor but more typically have something that is more like a fruity or berry candy taste. More candy than jammy in my experience. That said, these three pulps tend to be very different one from another with Triana tending toward more complex and jellyish, Atreano prone to the watery, light fruity though can be quite sweet, and Brooklyn White tending toward glazed berry candy, a kind of sugar berry or honey berry. Whereas the sheer honey figs typically have a distinctly more gold caramel color and honey-like flavors.

        Atreano, Conadria, and Lyndhurst White have a number of similar characteristics. All have sizable figs, with greenish (or with white or yellow tint) skin, relatively thin skin, a pink or reddish color of pulp, all tending to the watery, all productive, ripening around the same time, Lyndhurst slightly later, all with some breba. Even the leaves of these three are similar. White Triana is somewhat similar in most of these ways, though a more intense flavor, so suffers less from excess water, more berry flavor, more jelly, approaching and in many ways similar to Emerald Strawberry (143-36).

        Brooklyn white is the most different of these. It has thicker skin, is more and predominantly yellow, a thicker pulp, quite reddish, which is much, much less prone to being watery. Has a larger eye than these others too, which has been no issue at all here, though it may be elsewhere. BW is far easier to ripen sweeter here than these others I've mentioned. Sugar tends to crust inside it, which can make the thick skins taste and feel like chewy sugar, berry or fruit tinged. I'll post a recent plate of Brooklyn White figs below.

      • COONHUNTER56
        COONHUNTER56 commented
        Editing a comment
        I'd have to agree with them Ross. I think the Atreano, W Triana and conadria class is more of a light honey berry. Hollier I would say is a strong honey berry fig. Could possible be climatic differences in phenotype and flavor. Like yourself I'm in a humid climate with >62" rain annually but much longer and hotter growing seasons. Appreciate all your hard work and research! I figure if it does well for you it will be even better for me!

    • #4
      Id also consider Smith to be a honey type fig... either way it is a first class piece of fruit...not much to look at when fully ripe, but Good Lord what a taste!


      • ross
        ross commented
        Editing a comment
        Does Smith have a berry flavor at all?

      • jkuo
        jkuo commented
        Editing a comment
        Smith has a strawberry flavor IMO. I wouldn't classify it as a honey fig.

      • Brandon87
        Brandon87 commented
        Editing a comment
        To me Smith isn’t honey at all. Sweet but not honey.

    • #5
      All photos from this month, with the exception of Alma, Lattarula (EL), and Mary Lane taken last year, and Trojano and Lemon/Blanche taken this July. These are not all honey figs in my opinion, photoed:

      Alma, Atreano, Brooklyn White, Champagne, Conadria, Desert King, Emerald Strawberry (143-36), Excel, Janice Kadota, Kadota, Lemon/Banche, Longue d'Aout, Long Yellow, LSU Gold, Lyndhurst White / Latarolla, Lattarula, Marseilles White, Mary Lane, Peter's Honey, Trojano, Unknown Italian White (seems like Lemon/Blanche), White Triana, Wuhan.
      You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 23 photos.
      Tony WV 6b


      • #6
        Did you narrow down your honey varieties? If so, which did you choose?
        Jon - North Central Mississippi - 8A
        WL: Verdolino


        • ross
          ross commented
          Editing a comment
          Champagne, Zaffiro, Sweet Joy, Bebera Branca, Hollier, Albo, Yellow Long Neck, Golden Rainbow, Long Yellow, White Marseilles. I have them all. There is certainly room for additional honey figs. There is a wide variety of flavor within them, but they are hard to discern from just looks. There is a lot of unknowns from the middle east that are probably quite different too.

      • #7
        Originally posted by MS Dawg View Post
        Did you narrow down your honey varieties? If so, which did you choose?
        ...And are you still categorizing Flanders as a honey fig??? In our hot summers, it has a stronger mixed-berry flavor than Black Jack, but just not quite as intensely flavored as say, Bourjassote Gris.
        CA 9b "May you sit under your own fig tree..." This metaphor, in use since Solomon, is a wish for the receiver's spirit to know peace, for their family to be secure, and for their life to be fruitful.


        • ross
          ross commented
          Editing a comment
          Very few in the above list I would consider honey figs nowadays. I guess it depends on your definition, but anything with berry in it is certainly not your typical honey fig to me.

      • #8
        LSU Improved Celeste deserves mention.
        Zone 9b
        S of Tampa Bay, FL


        • #9
          Originally posted by ross View Post
          Honey Figs. Do I Need More than 3 Varieties?
          I think it depends whether you are planning a breeding program or not. If so then I'd include at least one from each of Aradhya's genetic groups 1, 3, 6, and possibly 8.
          Fruit crazed in Vista CA. http://tangentvectors.org


          • #10
            Ross, I realize this is an old post dredged up from the past but IMHO Raasti should be one of the keeper honey figs for us in the north due to the early start to the season, about the same time as RdB.
            SW PA zone 6a


            • eboone
              eboone commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes it is productive.
              No, I have noted no other flavors. Its taste was quite similar to LSU Champagne or Lattarula. I’ve said it before, the fig Raasti is most like, to me, is Champagne but for the earlier start to the season

            • ross
              ross commented
              Editing a comment
              Good to know Ed.

            • Bren55
              Bren55 commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks Ed

          • #11
            I still need to taste my first honey fig to see if I even need one...

            While I know it's not a "true" honey fig, I am rooting Brooklyn White this year. And I'm also adding a variety I purchased from Harvey after seeing that Mountainfigs says it produces top quality Breba -- San Miro Piro.

            Will likely need to wait another year before I can say whether or not I'm a fan if honey figs.
            “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Source Unknown MA 5b/6a
            Part Owner at Catskill Mountain Lavender


            • ross
              ross commented
              Editing a comment
              I think you can answer this pretty easily. Do you like berries or melons more?

            • ginamcd
              ginamcd commented
              Editing a comment
              Not a fan of melons and I won't go out of my way to eat any, but if they're very ripe and sweet I'm okay with them (as long as it's not watermelon).

              As for berries, I enjoy them when they're nicely ripe and sweet and even with a bit of tartness. Under-ripe and very tart, forget it.

              I haven't tried many figs, but enough to know that I really like the rich and syrupy types.

          • #12
            I have read about 'honey-flavoured' figs and 'berry-flavoured' figs for ages, and everyone here seems to know what these descriptions mean.... But not me, I'm not really sure what the the difference is. Presumably, a 'honey' fig is very sweet, so a 'berry' fig must have some tartness. Am I correct? But some berries are very sweet. Can someone explain the difference?
            Don, Danmark


            • Bluemalibu
              Bluemalibu commented
              Editing a comment
              The 'Honey' figs may have caramel type flavors, but the overriding taste is merely sugary sweet. Whereas the berry figs literally have the taste of strawberry or raspberry jam, straight from the tree.

              Growing up, I always figured that figs would strictly tasted like Fig Newtons (Calimyrna figs)... but out of my 450 varieties, I have but one type that tastes anything close to it; my wild fig find who's name also describes the fruit... I refer to it as my Honey Newton. ;-)

            • CallMeDave26
              CallMeDave26 commented
              Editing a comment
              I was the same as BM.... Always thought figs tasted like fig newtons... The ones I got in grocery stores were never very good...or at least not to my liking... and than I started growing figs and wow, the taste!

            • Rigo007
              Rigo007 commented
              Editing a comment
              OMG, I really cant wait!

          • #13
            Another thought on the title of this post: Honey Figs. Do I Need More than 3 Varieties?
            Well, if you are truly interested in figs, like many of us here are, the answer is clear: Yes, you do. Because a very important factor in growing figs for us afficionados is not only the taste but also the pleasure at observing the differences in growth, appearance and 'behaviour' etc.
            I realize, of course, that Ross is thinking of space and time limitations, so if you have restricted space and time it is clearly a valid question.
            Don, Danmark


            • #14
              Got to have them all Ross


              • #15
                I have white Tirana, LSU gold, and Italian honey. They are all very good figs and delicious. I would rank them in that order


                • #16
                  I’ve basically only had Black Missions my entire life, so I’m stoked about my Barada and Syrian #3 figs this year. The Syrian #3 pics from Bass looks incredible!
                  Tom V
                  San DiegoCaUSA


                  • #17
                    Atreano isn't a honey fig, or Smith.

                    There are several Brooklyn White strains, thanks to several white varieties in Brooklyn. So far, not a fan of the one I have. Like Macool the flavor is off.

                    The closest in taste to one another, White Triana and Hollier. Hollier is earlier and a bit more complex while White Triana is sweeter.

                    The best honey figs to date, Jodis' Lampa Parda. Sweet, amber and intense purple berry flavor on the edge. The flavors combine and are exceptional.

                    Carol Curt Negra, amber\orange inside with a complex brown sugar type taste. Not quite sure if actually a honey type, but my top one or two last season. A new favorite for me.


                    • ZomVee
                      ZomVee commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Glad to hear that about the Capoll Curt Negra.

                    • Rigo007
                      Rigo007 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Cant wait for my CCN to make it thru and give me some suga mommas 🤦‍♂️

                  • #18
                    Lampa Parda. This plant came through a family from Portugal over 50 years ago. Anyone with contact information for Jodi, please pm me.

                    Awesome fig.
                    Click image for larger version

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                    • aaron
                      aaron commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Looks awesome!

                    • Bidlack78
                      Bidlack78 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Reminds me of the peters honey Seattle Ben did a video of last year. Had that same ring of purple.

                    • ross
                      ross commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Hey Mike is Lampa Parda common or san pedro?

                  • #19
                    I am pretty sure it is common, but only had two ripen. It is possible. Early, and on old growth. Hard to tell because it grew four feet the year before, but little growth last season. I just root pruned it, solid root ball. Trying to catch up on proper care for the heard.