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  • Binella / Binello Versus Brooklyn White

    Well, this may be a sensitive topic given one or two recent threads posted here, but what the hell - the world doesn't stop for coincidences - due to a ripe fig picked this afternoon, I think I've figured something out:

    I think now that the fig that was sold to me as Binello (and that I've subsequently traded and resold after enjoying its fruit) is actually Brooklyn White. Both the leaves and fruit exterior of these cultivars can appear to be very similar but they are distinct cultivars, especially as shown by their different colored and tasting pulp.

    Today I picked the year's first in-ground "Binello" fig (after total top kill), and I tasted it and examined the leaves and compared both to in-ground total top kill Brooklyn White figs that have just begun to ripen too and I can see no difference. They ripen at the same time and they look and taste the same and the leaves are the same, and the fruit pulp is the same color.

    So, is it Binella/o or Brooklyn White? I did some more research. Pictures somewhat but especially comments show that Binella/o like Kadota is a honey fig interior, amber, whereas Brooklyn White is a berry fig interior, strawberry. Thus, my so-called Binello, I can only conclude, is actually Brooklyn White. It looks like everybody else's Brooklyn Whites and like my own Brooklyn Whites, which have ripened this year for the first time, providing opportunity for immediate first-hand comparison. That this fig is apparently Brooklyn White rather than Binello is good news for cold region growers, which is exactly what I had claimed the Binello was, an excellent cold region fig.

    Apparently no one picked up on the wrong interior color of my so-called Binello when I posted pics of it last year at F4F. Nor did I. I bought the "Binello" from a grower in New Jersey. He told me, when I inquired a couple years ago about his source, that a long time widely respected fig grower had told him that the fig was Binello. He told me the "expert's" name, so I didn't doubt it.

    My understanding is that the proper name for Binello is actually Binella. My understanding also is that Binella may either be synonymous with Kadota or a strain of it. The exterior of my supposed "Binello" does look similar to my Janice Kadota, but the interior is very different. The leaves of my Janice Kadota and Brooklyn White are quite similar also: the side lobes of Janice Kadota can be slightly more spatulate, sometimes. But the different interiors really tell the story.

    For now I have to conclude that my supposed "Binello" is actually Brooklyn White. By whatever name, it's by far my best light fig for a cold climate. It's also one of my top few figs of any color for a cold climate: great berry taste, great color, great size, and robust bounce-back from winter.

    For anyone who has traded or purchased Binello cuttings from me, be aware that I now have to consider what I sent to you as Binello to actually be Brooklyn White.

    I've begun reaching out to those with whom I have traded or sold these. Binello traders and buyers from me, let me know so that I can send you a replacement cultivar that you don't already have.

    If you bought "Binello" cuttings on Ebay a few years ago from 06picl like I did, and if you grew them out, and found that they have a red strawberry center rather than an amber honey center then you might reasonably assume that you have Brooklyn White too rather than Binello.

    I have no doubt that this was an honest mistake, and actually for me given my cold climate and preference for berry fig flavor, a fortuitous one. However, if you had really wanted a Kadota-like honey fig, or already have a Brooklyn White, it could bother you. I'll say what should go without saying: honest mistakes happen, especially in basically informal realms like these. Nevertheless, I apologize for the mix up. Be in touch if you've received my "Binello" so that we can make it square, and I'll continue to follow up from my end.
    A good thread on Binella types: http://forums.gardenweb.com/discussi...adota-variants

    My own pics below.

    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 5 photos.
    Tony WV 6b

  • #2
    The Dottato (Kadota) types usually have the amber interior (uncaprified) and chewy (thick) skins and are in the Honey Flavor Group. The leaves are usually mostly 1 (entire) to 3 lobed with some 5 lobed they all look similar.

    IMO, Brooklyn White BS also falls into the Honey Flavor Group, the pulp is usually amber colored with strawberry colored tint (uncaprified) with thin skins, I haven't tasted any with berry flavor. The leaves are mostly 5 lobed with some 3 lobed and rarely entire. Also the ripe figs are on the large side averaging ~ 60 grams or more

    Posting photos of your mature leaves, typical leaves and figs may help with a better ID. Good Luck.
    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.
    Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b


    • #3
      Pete, so you're saying that Brooklyn White is very much akin to Kadota and Binella? Then the fig "expert" was essentially correct? if Brooklyn White and Binella may be synonymous or nearly so?

      Possibly Brooklyn White is a superior strain of Kadota? or a significantly divergent sport?: earlier, fruitier, larger.

      I don't know. I can't quite see that. My Brooklyn White does not remotely have the honey tastes of say my Lattarula (Italian Honey) or my Champagne or my Janice Kadota.

      It has always tasted of strawberry to me, like a wild strawberry. It's not as intense as the strawberry taste of, say, Calverte or White Triana, but it is extremely fresh and juicy, like strawberry kool-aid or Hawaiian Punch. It's a damn good fig, big and productive, that I can't quite find to fit in the honey category.

      Obviously we need many more people's takes on their experiences.
      Tony WV 6b


    • #4
      Sounds like we have different Brooklyn Whites then. I wouldn't describe my Brooklyn White at all like that.

      When I compare my Brooklyn White to, say, Art's photos (Kubota1), they look similar. But of course it can be difficult to interpret photos.
      Tony WV 6b


      • AscPete
        AscPete commented
        Editing a comment
        Figs and leaves can have some variation from season to season. Your comparisons should be between your Gallo / Binello, http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox....-gallo-7041454 and Brooklyn White BS. IMO, Art's ripe figs and leaves do resemble Bass' Brooklyn White.

      • mountainfigs
        mountainfigs commented
        Editing a comment
        I've ruled out that my Binello NOT fig, which I now believe to be Brooklyn White, could be Gallo. It's too big, whereas Gallo has been described as unusually small. So lately I've been wondering if Gallo may be synonymous with Bianchetta, if that truly is a productive cold region small light fig.

    • #5
      Attached are photos posted by Art kubota1 from a discussion last year, http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=7017709
      This fig looks a little rough on the outside due to the weather, but tasted delicious. (Pure honey) I know they will get even better when the heat comes back.
      Click image for larger version

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      Last edited by AscPete; 09-28-2015, 10:53 AM. Reason: added quote from OP of linked discussion @F4F
      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b


      • #6
        I agree that "Art's ripe figs and leaves do resemble Bass' Brooklyn White" just as they resemble those of my own Brooklyn Whites. That's a red looking interior to me: Art's photos. I'm not aware of any "honey" tasting figs that resemble that interior.

        Notice: I'm not saying that your Brooklyn Whites don't taste like honey to you. I am saying that I have a fig that appears to be that fig and it tastes like strawberry to me. This shouldn't be surprising, since tastes and tastings can range all over the map.

        Of course fig leaf shape can vary widely within the same cultivar. For example, this year, but not every year, my Kadota has a lot of single lobe and tri-lobed leaves, whereas my Janice Kadota has virtually none this year - and rather consists of 5 lobed leaves that look very similar to many of the Brooklyn White leaves. Again: the leaves of my Brooklyn Whites look very similar to the leaves of everybody else's Brooklyn Whites ... and to the leaves of my Janice Kadota, especially this year. My Kadota leaves have looked more similar to Brooklyn White leaves in previous years than they look this year.

        All this involves one of my first orders of cuttings, several years ago. It might have been as many as 20 or 30 cuttings for about a dollar each. Half were to be Celeste and half were to be Brooklyn White. It took me years to determine that I had been instead sent half Mt Etna cuttings labeled as Brooklyn White, and half Brooklyn White cuttings labeled as Celeste! For my region and tastes both, it turned out to be by far a better order than what I had ordered. These cuttings were super rooters and the Mt Etnas (Brooklyn White NOT) have turned out to be easily among my most productive Mt Etna trees, while the Brooklyn Whites (Celeste NOT) have turned out to be my most productive light fig, both in ground and in pot.
        Tony WV 6b


        • AscPete
          AscPete commented
          Editing a comment
          There is no disputing that 'taste' is subjective...
          IMO, Leaf shapes can and do vary, but they will vary withing a specific range of shapes for each specific cultivar.

      • #7
        Hmm, looking through figs4fun posts, it looks like there might be at least two Brooklyn Whites.

        One from Trees of Joy.

        Another at least one person referred to as Nature Park Brooklyn White.

        Now wondering which one is supposed to be the cold hardy variety that Bob Harper recommended.
        Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Verdolino, Black Celeste


        • AscPete
          AscPete commented
          Editing a comment
          I believe that its the one from Trees of Joy (Bass) or Brooklyn White BS...

      • #8
        My Brooklyn White cuttings came from seller "nature park" a few years ago. The trees produce figs that look like treesofjoy's Brooklyn White. Compare:
        Tony WV 6b


        • don_sanders
          don_sanders commented
          Editing a comment
          Looks similar to me but I'm horrible at identifying figs. The biggest thing that makes me wonder is the strawberry vs honey flavors although I suppose that could just be different people tasting different things.