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  • Fig Flavor Groups

    These Groupings are not a standard, but have been discussed in the past on the Fig Forums, and I personally have been using these groupings to choose cultivars (the best and more readily available in each group for my location).

    I would like to get some feedback on individual named or unknown cultivars and the flavor groups (new or existing) to which you believe they should belong. I'm well aware that taste is subjective, but I think these groupings would help to decrease the confusion between some named and unknown cultivars in circulation.

    "Flavor Groups" are;
    Sugar...
    Sugar sweet, ranging from lightly sweet to very sweet with added flavor from light maple to brown sugar and range from simple to complex additional flavors. Fig flavor can range from none to strong.Seed crunch can range from none to strong with nutty flavor.
    A. Celeste*, improved Celeste*, Southern Brown Turkey*

    B. English Brown Turkey, O'Rourke, Italian Ever-bearing, Sal's Corleone, Palermo Red, Sicilian Red, Panevino Dark, Aldo, Weeping Black, Brunswick, Magnolia, Paradiso.

    C. California Brown Turkey, Black Jack, , Etc.


    Honey...
    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.
    A.
    Italian Honey*, Lattarula*,

    B. Atreano, Brooklyn White, White Marseilles, Gold, Hollier, Champagne

    C. Kadota, Dotatto, Etc.


    Adriatic Berry...
    Sugar sweet, ranging from lightly sweet to very sweet with berry flavor, yellow or green skin and usually red pulp, with more complex additional flavors developing when fully ripe. Fig flavor can range from none to light. Seed crunch can range from none to strong with nutty flavor.
    B. Green Ischia, Conadria,

    C. Adriatic JH, Battaglia Green, Green Greek, Adriatic, Strawberry Verte, Calvert, Vasilika Sika, Stella, Etc.


    Bordeaux Berry...
    Sweet, with a berry taste which is rich with a slightly complex additional flavors, when ripe (jammy interior), other wise it has a standard Dark Flavor. Fig flavor can range from none to light. Seed crunch can range from none to strong with nutty flavor.
    A. Ronde de Bordeaux,

    B.
    Violet de Bordeaux, Mission, Vista, Petite Negri, Beers black,

    C. Valle Negra, Noir de Caromb, Kathleen Black, Etc.


    Dark Berry...
    Mildly sweet to very sweet,some degree of berry flavor, and some degree of acidity, some with complex additional flavors. Fig flavor can range from none to some (medium). Seed crunch can range from none to strong with nutty flavor.
    A. Marseilles Black VS*, Takoma Violet*,

    B.
    Hardy Chicago, Sal EL, Gino's Black, Portuguese Black, Maltese falcon,

    C. Dark Sicilian, Papa John, Scotts Black, Etc.


    Exotic Berry?. (New Group)
    B. Fico Preto,

    C. Black Madeira, Ischia Black, Etc.

    Legend: A = Early, B=Mid Season, C=Late Ripening, * = Hardy (Cold)
    Last edited by AscPete; 04-16-2015, 03:27 PM. Reason: corrected spelling and typo
    Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

  • #2
    Good post! I've used these groups a lot in my selection of varieties. To self promote the hardy fig list in my signature has Pete's lists above plus some extra info anyone is interested.
    Last edited by Kelby; 04-16-2015, 10:25 AM.
    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
    SE PA
    Zone 6

    Comment


    • #3
      What's the definition of cold hardy in this list? There are a few cultivars there that I thought were considered relatively cold hardy, like Ronde de Bordeaux.
      Johnny
      Stuff I grow: Google Doc

      Comment


      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't actually think there are any "Cold Hardy" Figs (typo in the OP) because figs are native to dry temperate zone 9 - 10 and the branches are killed when exposed to extended temperatures below 20*F (without winterization or micro-climates).
        The Hardy cultivars are usually the early producing cultivars that ripen figs and lignify (harden) branches earlier is the season.

    • #4
      Pete, I haven't seen a better breakdown/organization of fig flavor groups, though my sense of things is marginally different. I'll list here the notations I sometimes use to label these approximate groups, not to supplant your notation but to possibly spur ideas for further refining or elaborating the groupings.

      Sugar = sugar, liquid sugar, sugary, sharp sugar
      Honey = complex honey, honey, creamy, sweet cream, complex cream, honey cream, intense cream
      Adriatic Berry = intense berry, intense strawberry, (intense) spicy berry
      Bordeaux Berry = musky berry, dense berry, strawberry, sharp berry
      Dark Berry = berry punch, grape-strawberry punch, punch
      Exotic Berry = tropical, citrus, mango, apple, mixed

      I don't know that these descriptors would accord with your tastes or the tastes of others. This is how they've seemed to me.

      The descriptors Adriatic, Bordeaux, Dark, and Exotic don't convey ready meaning on their surface it seems to me. In my own mind, I sort those categories as Intense Berry, Musky Berry, Berry Punch, and Tropical. That said, "tropical" at least is also vague.

      Sugar and Honey are a little too close in my mind, though surely not in the minds of others. But I wonder if some of the cultivars in the Honey category might at some point wind up in a combined Sugary/Honey category and the Honey category be replaced by an Intense or Complex Cream category. Or an Intense/Complex Cream category might be added to the Sugar and Honey categories. My Janice Kadota is not a sugar or honey or exotic/tropical but more of an intense complex cream with (as of last year) a kind of brandy ice cream flavor.

      Just food for thought, maybe for future refining of the groupings. For now it seems that your request for feedback on cultivar flavors could be very useful. New flavor groupings or labelings might or might not arise from those incoming views.

      In addition to a complex cream category, I might also add a light berry or light strawberry category into which I would currently put Binello and Conadria.

      I would add Malta Black to Bordeaux Berry, as a kind of sharp berry, sharp strawberry.

      I would add Emerald Strawberry (143-36) to Adriatic Berry, as an intense spicy berry/strawberry, also Paradiso GM #9, another intense example.

      Hunt under Honey, as a complex honey but it could go under sugar or even under a new borderline strawberry category.

      For me, LSU Purple and Lemon/Blanche have fit in the exotic/tropical category - citrus and mango coming through.

      My current flavor perception goes something like this below (with one example of each, though clear classes of figs seem to fall distinctly into these categories):

      Sugar/Honey Gel - Improved Celeste
      Complex Cream Gel - Janice Kadota
      Intense Strawberry Jam - Emerald Strawberry
      Musky Strawberry Jam - Violette de Bordeaux
      Strawberry Punch Jam - Marseilles Black
      Light Strawberry Gel - Binello
      Tropical Gel - Lemon/Blanche

      Maybe this year I will be able to make better distinctions between Sugar and Honey. Maybe I'll be able to expand (or collapse) the notion of a Complex Cream category. Maybe I'll get a better broader feel for the Exotic or Tropical category. Maybe I'll want to reclassify Malta Black, and so on.

      For now at least, the figs as I've grown them around here seem to break down into those four distinct strawberry gel categories: Intense, Musky, Punch, and Light. (I sometimes think of "Light" as "Fresh". And if Malta Black is to be shoehorned into the Bordeaux/Musky category, it's not so much Musky as Sharp.) So, the four basic categories of Strawberry, plus the sugar/honey, the cream, and the tropical. To this point.

      By "strawberry" or "berry" or "grape" in all the above, I mean strawberry or berry or grape jam, jelly, or gel, not the berries themselves. The jam, jelly, or gel connote the apparent higher sugar level and the different texture found in the figs than in the berries.

      Last edited by mountainfigs; 04-16-2015, 03:55 PM.
      Tony WV 6b
      https://mountainfigs.net/

      Comment


      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        The original 5 Groups (minus Exotic Berry) would be sufficient to encompass all the dominant flavors.
        IMO, Expanding the "Flavor Groupings" would only complicate the simple axiom

      • mountainfigs
        mountainfigs commented
        Editing a comment
        I don't mind some complication, even at risk of confusion. I've tasted a number of cultivars that I have to keep in an Other category, at least. For the time being anyway.

      • mountainfigs
        mountainfigs commented
        Editing a comment
        I've long since updated my experience of fig flavor groupings, with skin and pulp colors at link(s): https://mountainfigs.net/mountain-fi...n-color-modes/

    • #5
      I assume all those flavors refer to the uncaprified figs , right?
      It seems we would need one list for California and another for the rest of the US. I believe there will be some differences.
      USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: De la Roca, Lampeira Prush, Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

      Comment


      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, they do apply to uncaprified figs, but will also apply to caprified figs.
        Caprified figs will have richer more complex flavors and added nutty flavors from fertile seeds.

    • #6
      What about the peach and melon tasting figs?
      Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

      Comment


      • susieqz
        susieqz commented
        Editing a comment
        we have always disagreed about this, pete.
        my dominick is absolutely peach flavored at this locale.
        not a hint of peach either. more, peach with a hint of fig.

      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        susieqz ,
        I have not tasted a Dominick fig, so I cannot directly comment on its flavor profile, but Mount Etna Type cultivars have all had a berry taste. My take on fig flavors has always been that they are sugar (plain sweet) or honey sweet (creamy) with or without a berry flavor.

        A Peach taste would be to my liking since peaches are my favorite fruit.

      • susieqz
        susieqz commented
        Editing a comment
        pete, fig taste is far more location sensitive than anyone realizes.
        only one other person mentioned the dominick's peach taste.
        others just get the etna taste.
        on the other hand, my black triana also had a strong peach taste in 2017.
        \gotta be something in the soil.

    • #7
      Great thread Pete! Very helpful.
      Frank ~ zone 7a VA

      Comment


      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, I thought that it was quite useful when I first read it at GardenWeb and at Dan's Blog. I've since been able to confirm many of the stated premise.

    • #8
      Great Topic: From visiting our local nurseries last year. I tasted the Kadota and Peter's Honey which were very similar. I enjoyed Janice Kadota it was much larger than Kadota very similar taste I ate a Conadria in the neighborhood and it tasted very similar to Kadota. I think the sugar content can get very high on these varieties and create a sameness in taste. Remember we get some intense heat here in Central California.

      Comment


      • mountainfigs
        mountainfigs commented
        Editing a comment
        Something to that surely. I've tasted dead ripe Mt Etna figs that seem essentially indistinguishable from ripe and dead ripe Bordeaux figs. The typical ripe taste of both figs though seem considerably different: the Mt Etnas fruitier, the Bordeauxs muskier.

      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        I'm surprised that the Conadria didn't have a "Berry" flavor...

    • #9
      Need help categorizing the flavor for the following varieties:

      Dark Brooklyn
      Flanders
      Marylane Seedless
      Panachee
      Pastiliere
      Morena

      Thanks in advance.
      Malcolm - Carroll County, MD (zone 6b). Interested in cold hardy figs. Currently container growing, MBVS, St. Rita, Olympian, RdB, Beale, Sal's EL, UCD 184-15s and Desert King.

      Comment


      • mountainfigs
        mountainfigs commented
        Editing a comment
        Have tasted only Mary Lane and Brooklyn Dark, as honey and berry respectively.

        I think I've seen Panachee and Pastiliere and Morena described as berry, more or less. Flanders, not sure. Hope to ripen Panachee and Pastiliere this summer first time.

      • Phiggy
        Phiggy commented
        Editing a comment
        I see you have olympian - where would you put that one in the flavor profiles? Someone else said it had a peach flavor...?

    • #10
      Haven't tasted Flanders but it has been described as honey, maple, and / or slight strawberry.
      Don - OH Zone 5b/6a Wish list: @Your favorite fig and Zaffiro, Craven's Craving, Izmir/Iznot, Kesariani, Calderona, Campaniere, Teramo

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      • #11
        This is a great post specially for people starting out like myself. Very informative as far as the different kinds of fig flavors and cultivar groups. This will help me create a great plat form my fig collection.
        Zone 5B: Rotterdam, NY

        YouTube

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        • Jamie0507
          Jamie0507 commented
          Editing a comment
          Zuny you are ahead of the game! Looking into/learning about the flavor groupings prior to hoarding.. Umm.. I mean collecting lol πŸ˜‰ different varieties is a very wise thing.. Otherwise you could wind up with 100 different named varieties that are very close in their taste profiles.. Ahemmm.. Not that I did that or anything πŸ˜‰ haha! Welcome to the group btw!

      • #12
        This is such a fantastic post and so helpful! Well, maybe not, makes me want more figs to try. Thanks for doing this!!!
        Want: Marseilles Black, Col de Dame (any), figs that do great in zone 9b (new to figs, so no fig trades, but have other plant types)

        Comment


        • #13
          Here's another topic with the same theme...

          http://www.ourfigs.com/forum/figs-ho...r-should-taste

          Which include the "Gateway" cultivars that are more readily available.
          Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

          Comment


          • #14
            After last year's growing season I began sorting figs into groups combining their skin color and flavor profile.
            The resultant six groupings below are not perfect but fit surprisingly well.
            The sugar flavor figs tend to be dark skinned, brown or blue, with amber or brownish pulp.
            The honey flavored figs tend to be light skinned, yellow or green, with gold, light amber, or clear pulp.
            Then there are the intense versus less intense light and dark skinned figs, berry flavored with reddish pulp.
            By intense I mean roughly very sweet and complex flavor versus a somewhat less sweet and less complex flavor, again roughly.
            Below, "light" and "dark" refer to skin color not flavor.

            FIG FLAVOR GROUPS AND CULTIVARS

            DARK SUGAR
            LSU Improved Celeste, LSU Purple, Brunswick, LSU O'Rourke, Hunt, Celeste, Brown Turkey

            LIGHT HONEY
            Marseilles (Lattarula, Italian Honey), LSU Champagne, Alma, Janice Kadota, Excel, Mary Lane, LSU Gold, Lemon (Blanche)

            DARK BERRY
            Mongibello (Mt Etna, aka Hardy Chicago, etc...), Ronde de Bordeaux, LSU (Scott's) Black, Palermo Red (aka Aldo's, Sal's C, etc...)

            LIGHT BERRY
            Brooklyn White, Conadria, Latarolla (Lyndhurst White)

            INTENSE DARK BERRY
            Violette de Bordeaux (Negronne, etc...), Black Madeira (Figo Preto), Bourjasotte Noir (Violette de Sollies, etc...), Col de Dame Noir

            INTENSE LIGHT BERRY
            White Triana, Paradiso (Battaglia Green), Adriatic, Calverte, Emerald Strawberry, PanachΓ©e, JH Adriatic


            There are some problems with these groupings above but for me they clarify a lot. Some problems, for example: Hunt is a brown fig (sometimes green/brown) that is very sweet like a sugar fig, and creamy like a honey fig, and tinged with a bit of berry flavor like a berry fig. It has amber pulp like a sugar fig but tinged sometimes with red like a berry fig. How to classify? Sugar because so sheer sweet? Honey because especially creamy? Berry because, well, sometimes berryish? It looks most like a sugar fig, has a high brix count so should probably be classified as that. Take LSU Purple. To me, when fully ripe it has a strong maple sugar flavor, rather than sheer or plain sugar. I think of it as a sugar fig with a particular flavor. Take Brooklyn White (aka Naples White), very sweet like a sugar fig but with a mixed honey and berry flavor. It's light skinned so could be considered a honey fig, and it's sweeter than the typical berry fig so could be considered an intense berry fig except that the flavor is not as complex as the typical intense berry fig. The pulp I consider a glazed berry, a mix of clear gel and red gel. Some people reasonably consider it a honey fig, while I classify it as a light berry fig. And so on.
            Last edited by mountainfigs; 05-11-2016, 07:47 PM.
            Tony WV 6b
            https://mountainfigs.net/

            Comment


            • AscPete
              AscPete commented
              Editing a comment
              The problem is that intense flavors often develop when figs are very ripe, over ripe or simply caprified...
              Often figs will be over ripe to the point of fermentation giving them additional 'intense' flavors
              Some figs also have intense flavors as soon as they change color and start to ripen.

            • don_sanders
              don_sanders commented
              Editing a comment
              That's a list I'd like to see.

              "intense flavors as soon as they change color and start to ripen"

            • AscPete
              AscPete commented
              Editing a comment
              Don,
              I have an unknown that has that characteristic, it develops good flavor well before its 'ripe'...

          • #15
            Tony,

            Thanks for the list.
            I would like to add that your classification refers to the non-pollinated figs only assuming ideal growing conditions.
            The pollinated version would be a bit different. In general, the taste tends to be more "intense".
            USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: De la Roca, Lampeira Prush, Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

            Comment


            • mountainfigs
              mountainfigs commented
              Editing a comment
              Good distinction. My understanding is that with fig wasp pollination, pulp color, flavor, even skin color can bear no resemblance to the details in this non-pollinated listing. No fig wasp in 90 percent of the US, let alone Canada and temperate zones abroad. No long growing season either, mainly, which is why the earliest ripening cultivars of these color and flavor groupings are so vital to most North American growers and those beyond: dark sugar: LSU Improved Celeste; light honey: Marseilles (White); dark berry: Ronde de Bordeaux & Mongibello; light berry: Brooklyn White; intense dark berry: Violette de Bordeaux; and intense light berry ... nothing has been much early for me in this category, though Calverte and Paradiso / Battaglia Green have been earlier than the others.
              Last edited by mountainfigs; 05-11-2016, 07:35 PM.

            • greenfig
              greenfig commented
              Editing a comment
              I wouldn't say no resemblance, you still can tell which fig is which most of the time but the distinction between the different types is much more blurry.

            • AscPete
              AscPete commented
              Editing a comment
              I would agree and would add that the flavor would be nutty (more nutty) due to the fertilized seeds in addition to more intense flavors.

          • #16
            Jamie,
            Thank you. Even with all this researching I can still see myself becoming fig crazy. I love gardening and growing fruit trees. My dream would be to have my own orchard someday but that is a bit out of my reach. I love the idea of growing my own food in my back yard and being only a few steps from great fruit.

            This is a great group with a lot of information and people who are glad to help. I am glad I found it.
            Zone 5B: Rotterdam, NY

            YouTube

            Comment


            • Jamie0507
              Jamie0507 commented
              Editing a comment
              You're very welcome Zuny It is very hard to resist adding more and more varieties even with the research (says the girl who just added another 7 varieties this past weekend alone lol). Perhaps though you can make yourself a wishlist that is categorized in flavor groups.. That may help you to visualize what you are looking to add groupwise.. Gotta try something right? Lol I think I better take my own advice now & do that too! Haha! Happy collecting!

          • #17
            I second the above!! What a wealth of information!! Having not been here very long, I don't know how any of you resist the 'gotta have em all' urge. ESPECIALLY with the descriptions... omg. LOL. I think I just wiped drool off my chin...
            Want: Marseilles Black, Col de Dame (any), figs that do great in zone 9b (new to figs, so no fig trades, but have other plant types)

            Comment


            • Jamie0507
              Jamie0507 commented
              Editing a comment
              Welcome to the group hstark! And the answer to that question of how do we all "resist the gotta have em all urge" is that many of us cannot! Haha! Although some of us do a better job than others.. I'm in the latter category.. In fact I absolutely stink at resisting.. Ok.. I GOTTA HAVE EM ALL! hehe πŸ˜‰

          • #18
            I really don't understand the differences between Bordeaux Berry and Dark Berry. Could someone explain? The rest.. I've got my head around very well.
            Zone 7A - Philadelphia
            Flavor Profiles & Variety List / Facebook / YouTube / Blog

            Comment


            • AscPete
              AscPete commented
              Editing a comment
              There are separate distinct flavors that develop in the skin, rind and pulp of the Bordeaux Flavor cultivars... although the overall flavor profile is the same as Dark Berry figs.

            • Phiggy
              Phiggy commented
              Editing a comment
              I've read the bordeaux berry would be more resinous than dark berry like intense berry flavor. I wouldn't know from person experience yet... this next season tho!

          • #19
            Thanks for the thoughts on the 6 flavor/color groupings.

            I agree that Bordeaux, Adriatic, Exotic ... are unnecessarily opaque descriptors, useful to those in the know but not so much on their surface.

            Agreed that fig flavors can basically be broken down further from 5 or 6 (or more) to 3 categories (or possibly even 2): sugar, honey, berry types, in other words, various sugary gels, various honey or cream gels, and various berryish gels. (That said, most of the honey figs I've tasted seem to me more like agave syrup or agave gel than honey gel. Honey conveys the gist though. And we have the Italian Honey fig (White Marseilles, Lattarula) not the Italian Agave fig.) Talking unpollinated figs here.

            I included skin color with the flavor groupings for various reasons:

            1) I noticed that all the sugar types I knew were dark skinned and had pulp with the colors mentioned, and that all the honey types were light skinned with the aforementioned pulp colors. Simply made sense. I wonder if it will hold.

            2) Most people acquire trees or consume figs based on the fruits' appearance, often color, as well as taste; also, the former may affect or be related to the latter. So it seems important. Many people, including myself, want to enjoy growing and eating both light and dark skinned figs even if the flavor may be similar.

            3) There is such a great number and diversity of cultivars of figs that getting a good handle, a concise yet detailed grip on key features across the broad spectrum, seems well warranted. You've got your dark sugars, your light honeys, your simple fruity darks and lights, and your intense, especially sweet or complex, berry lights and darks.

            A classification of six particular yet encompassing categories doesn't seem too much to ask for basic flavor/color views of a fruit with more than a myriad named variants. 3 categories works too though, as noted. Growers of figs would probably be interested in at least 6 categories, while consumers of figs might usually be interested in knowing 2-4 categories: Is it a light fig or a dark fig? Is it fruity or sugary?

            As for the Bordeaux flavor, both RDB and VDB seem to me to have a little more resin flavor than typical, a molasses flavor as I think of it, so I can see why the Bordeauxs are sometimes classified unto themselves, or with a few other similar types. Scientists say that resin, sort of an anti-flavor as I think of it, musky or like molasses, gives figs their characteristic figgy flavor. Makes sense, though curious that certain figs are more figgy, resinous, than others and that to my taste buds at least, a relatively few number of cultivars seem to have much resinous taste, aftertaste, or characteristic at all. Sometimes the sugars may overpower the resin, I imagine, though other times the flavors seem simply light as with the honey figs or fresh and fruity as with the berry figs.

            Regarding "intense" as flavor descriptor, I assume that essentially all fig cultivars can taste "intense" when allowed to reach the "dead ripe" stage under ideal conditions. Under such conditions, a fruity punchy cultivar like Mongibello with normally a relatively low brix count can achieve both a sugar spike and a flavor explosion, making it taste intense: especially sweet, complex, powerful.

            However, when various cultivars are all compared at, say, a mid-ripe stage, certain cultivars will be sweeter than other cultivars, and/or more complex and, say, potent of flavor. Some of this has been studied and charted scientifically, brix counts for example. So when comparing figs of different cultivars at the same stage of ripeness, all other things equal, then inherent differences of sweetness and flavor complexity, etc, do emerge. (Whether or not I've charted that accurately by cultivar, is another question.)




            Last edited by mountainfigs; 05-13-2016, 12:55 AM. Reason: added more about resin
            Tony WV 6b
            https://mountainfigs.net/

            Comment


            • smithmal
              smithmal commented
              Editing a comment
              Tony,

              I like your flavor categories better than mine as they are more straight forward descriptors of flavor. Just wishing there was a better descriptor than "intense" as a fig novice (such as I) would most likely ask the follow up question "what does an intense berry taste like?" So, on it's own, I think "Intense" would need follow-up explanation/descriptors so convey the flavor (similar to calling a flavor exotic/adriatic/bordeaux).

              You, as well as others have much more experience tasting different varieties of figs. Is there any other descriptor you can think of for these two "intense" categories? i unfortunately don't have the knowledge/palate/experience to even attempt a guess.

            • mountainfigs
              mountainfigs commented
              Editing a comment
              Probably a better descriptor is "rich." It's a term commonly used in taste or flavor descriptions and so more widely and readily comprehended. The word "rich" irks me however. So I came up with an alternate word, "intense," basically meaning especially sweet and/or complex or full in flavor. That is, rich.

          • #20
            Thanks for the description of the resin taste. I was noticing a wine-like under taste to the Bordeaux figs and since a good wine is fermented or aged in resinous wooden casks that is the taste that makes them different.
            Mara, Southern California,
            Climate Zone: 1990=9b 2012= 10a 2020=?

            Comment


            • #21
              you know, i used pete's taste classifications, trying to get one of each flavor inground.
              results show trees don't follow rules.
              my first fig, a tissue culture hardy chicago from hirts is unquestionably a hardy chicago.
              grown in soil that is largely limestone, with ph adjusted in the semi desert, there was no berry taste whatsoever.
              it is 100 % honey.
              i love the taste, but i'm sad that i now have no berry flavor fig.
              taste in one location may not be the same in another.
              susie,
              burner of trees
              high plains, maybe zone 7.

              Comment


              • eboone
                eboone commented
                Editing a comment
                Maybe it needs another year to mature?

                I don't doubt that climate and terrior could affect taste to some degree in figs like in grapes, but Hardy Chicago is such a good fig, and you should certainly get plenty of sunshine in your climate. Others grow it in the Southwest as well, maybe they can chime in with their experience

                Good to see you here, susieqz

              • Altadena Mara
                Altadena Mara commented
                Editing a comment
                I'm guessing the Hirts you bought it from is Hirts Gardens, a large commercial nursery? These places have a bad reputation for mislabeling their plants. Perhaps you should replace it with Strawberry Verte or Battaglia from a responsible fig tree source. Life it too short to waste missing out on what you want.

              • newnandawg
                newnandawg commented
                Editing a comment
                Hi susieqz, good to see you here.

                Hmm, sounds fishy rather than berry. I would be more than happy to send you some cuttings of
                Hardy Chicago, Kesariani and Marsellies Black. That way you would have three to choose from.

            • #22
              Hello susieqz ,

              Glad to see you posting...

              It may be that the tree needs to mature, especially if its the first time ripening figs, but Hardy Chicago is usually (always) a berry flavored cultivar.
              Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

              Comment


              • #23
                guys, i wasn't complaining about my honey flavor hardy chicago. i enjoy the strong honey flavor, which is no cloying at all.
                i have scanned dozens of pics of both leaves n fruit n it's identical to those hardy chicagos tat have been posted.
                i wonder if growing in soil that is largely limestone may change taste?
                or, 4100' elevation?
                i do need to find a berry flavor that will grow under poor conditions.
                even wrapped, some trees won't take winter temps near zero, tho they like 100 degree days..
                Last edited by susieqz; 02-19-2017, 12:28 AM.
                susie,
                burner of trees
                high plains, maybe zone 7.

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                • Phiggy
                  Phiggy commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I wonder if the berry flavor idetified has something to do with acidity. In your and my areas we don't need to add any lime. I believe soil acidity adds to the flavor of blueberries and strawberries, making them more tart than just sweet. In alkaline soil, strawberries seem more bland. A slow release sulpher may help to see if it affects the taste?

              • #24
                Very helpful post indeed. Now I have a better idea as to which group variety I'd like to stick with.
                South Florida - 10b

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                • #25
                  Can someone do an update of the list adding more variations to the OPs list? It's a really helpful topic but with more variations added, it simplifies it for us newbies.
                  South Florida - 10b

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                  • AscPete
                    AscPete commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Rigo007 ,

                    Since this Topic was started the number / quantity of "Named" cultivars in circulation has probably doubled, some are new / seedling cultivars some are imported cultivars and some are just renamed cultivars. Its almost an impossible effort for any single person or group to be able to categorize or even keep track of characteristics and associated names, especially since there is no official central Ficus carica organization...
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