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  • New Here. Are Italian Figs The Best Tasting? What are your favorite?

    There are so many varieties out there. Which one stands out above the rest?

    They say the White Dottato Fig from southern Italy is the king of great tasting figs with its its thin skin.
    I havent tried one yet but this is what i read.

    Im in zone 7a ontario.
    Last edited by Enzx; 08-22-2019, 12:16 PM.

  • #2
    Welcome!

    It depends on many factors -- which flavor profile appeals to a person more, what texture someone likes/dislikes, climate and growing environment, fertilizing and watering schedule, etc. etc.

    Your best bet is to let us know where you're located, whether honey, sugar, or berry flavors appeal to you most, and how you plan to grow them (containers vs inground). Then others can let you know which ones will produce well in your zone that fit your flavor profile. From there, you'll just have to grow them and taste them for yourself.
    β€œThe best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
    – Chinese Proverb
    MA 5b/6a

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    • #3
      Thank you good to be here

      Comment


      • #4
        Not sure but my favorite so far is Burgan Unknown (which is still under trial to find whether it's a common type of not). But from what I'm growing, Raspberry Layye has got to be my favorite.
        South Florida - 10b

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        • #5
          When the name of a plant cultivar includes a country, it is often due to its popularity there instead of its original origin. For example, Italian basil is from the tropics -- traceable to Reunion Island, Greek basil originated in Ethiopia, and so on. Figs were cultivated in the "Middle East" millennia before the Romans got into the act so it is doubtful which if any figs originated in Italy.
          Fruit crazed in Vista CA. http://tangentvectors.org

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          • BC BYRON
            BC BYRON commented
            Editing a comment
            Lol there is always a lesson to be had with Richard 🀣

          • jessup42
            jessup42 commented
            Editing a comment
            1/4 wise guy & 3/4 wise man

        • #6
          I will say it again. It's Desert King in PNW. I don't know else where.
          Richmond, BC, Canada Zone 8b
          WL:Improved Celeste, Pastiliere

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          • TahomaGuy2
            TahomaGuy2 commented
            Editing a comment
            Yep! Desert King is ahead of the pack! Now for just ITALIAN figs it has always been miles ahead of the 2nd best cultivar out here.

        • #7
          "Are Italian figs the best tasting?"

          Being Italian myself, you must first ask yourself a few questions to know the answer:

          Is Ferrari one of the fastest cars in the world?
          Is Sophia Loren one of the most beautiful women in the world?
          Is Armani one of the finest fashions in the world?
          Is I-258 one of the most delicious figs in the world?
          Phoenix, Arizona 9B

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          • ginamcd
            ginamcd commented
            Editing a comment
            And...
            Ducati is the sexiest motorcycle.
            Parmigiana Reggiano is the king of aged cheeses.
            Prosciutto di Parma is the epitome of cured meats.
            San Marzano is at the top of the tomato world.

            The list just goes on and on...

          • Pdiscool
            Pdiscool commented
            Editing a comment
            Agreed with all the above!!

          • Rico891
            Rico891 commented
            Editing a comment
            Okay, now I have to put in a plug for my favorite musical conductor.

            Rinaldo Alessandrini is a virtuoso on Baroque keyboards, including harpsichord, fortepiano, and organ. He is founder and conductor of the Italian early music ensemble Concerto Italiano, performing music of Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Couperin, Bach, and others. He is considered a foremost interpreter of early Italian opera.

        • #8
          Anywhere in Ontario, with your wet and humid conditions during ripening season, a thin skinned fig can be a heartache to get to a perfectly ripe state. With figs, close enough to ripening is not anywhere near enough. They have to be dead ripe to really get the maximum quality of fruit. Once picked, that's it. Figs do not ripen after being picked. You cannot go out the day before rainy weather is forecast and pick those close to ripening figs, to save them. They must stay put on the tree, at the mercy of the elements. That is the dilemma of growing figs in wet, cold, humid climates.

          To get to that perfectly ripe fig in Ontario, a fig fruit better be durable: no splitting, no thimble sized eyes, no inherently watery pulp, etc., so variety selection is very critical. The tree better be an early to mid-season ripener, or a good portion of your crop will not ripen nicely, or at all.

          The tree's winter hardiness is a major factor if grown in ground. If container grown and given protection inside some accommodating structure over winter, its winter hardiness doesn't matter one bit.

          Its earliness to ripen is crucial. Only early to mid-season varieties are practical for you to grow.

          Fig fruits do not all ripen at once on the tree. You can get figs ripening for a 6+ week long period from the day the first ripe fig is picked to the last. Don't you want to eat and enjoy ALL, as is possible, the figs your tree grows?

          Really, the country of origin of the fig tree is totally irrelevant.

          I will give only one recommendation. There are more excellent varieties other forum members will probably recommend. It is the Smith fig. It has everything that you want: delicious, durable fruits, abundant output, mid-season ripening start, and it's price is not sky high. I think its country of origin is Serbia or Croatia?, by way of immigrants from there who settled in the Mississippi River Delta area, in the USA.

          Thorntorn
          Last edited by Thorntorn; 08-22-2019, 08:21 PM.
          W. PA., Pittsburgh, zone 6b USDA, but more 5b, realistically. All pot grown fig trees, no in-grounds.

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          • #9
            The fig that you grow yourself will be the best tasting fig..unless you grow a capper fig.

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            • #10
              My favorites have changed since I found I can ripen some later varieties well. Planera, De la Plata, Motoso Preto, BM JFE and all of the CDD have really shot up. But my favorite for every reason is CLBC.
              Soccer playing, whiskey drinking, cigar smoking, dark fig eating woman
              married to my best friend, the same uber tolerant man, for 29 years
              Zone 7a

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              • ofon
                ofon commented
                Editing a comment
                Price surely can't be one of those reasons

              • blaze
                blaze commented
                Editing a comment
                whelp actually the De la Plata, Motoso preto and CDD were all trees I have grown from cuttings and cost $15 or less. he BM jfe I bought for $109 a couple years ago so that was a bit pricey. The CLBC I was given to me by a friend with whom I exchange materials frequently. So yes wasn't free, but not crazy expensive either.

            • #11
              Ripe figs are the best tasting.
              Fruit crazed in Vista CA. http://tangentvectors.org

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              • #12
                Good Tuesday morning, 1/14/2020 - When is the best time to move in ground(Zone 10b) a 4 feet potted Violette de Bordeaux bought from Armstrong Nursery? Or will it be better to transfer it from its 3.5 gal nursery to a larger 15 gal at this time of the season? Appreciate your responses. First time in this forum

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              • #13
                Richard Thank you.

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                • #14
                  I am proud of my Italian heritage, but as a fig grower, Greek figs visually seem like they would taste the best. Unfortunately that opinion is mostly speculation as I haven't been able to try many of them as they tend to lean towards being smyrnas. I've seen many photos of Turkish figs and figs from parts of the middle east and mostly I am not impressed. Assuming we can rule those countries out... The answer is going to be found in the hottest/driest Mediterranean locations where the blastophaga is present and for many generations the people living in that place deeply cared about their figs. That last point is very important. There may be a specific bird that eats figs and travels in a specific migratory pattern throughout the Mediterranean. Either from country to country or island to island. You'll likely find the highest concentration of very tasty varieties in a place like that.
                  Zone 7A - Philadelphia
                  Flavor Profiles & Variety List / Facebook / YouTube / Blog

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                  • #15
                    Originally posted by ross View Post
                    I am proud of my Italian heritage, but as a fig grower, Greek figs visually seem like they would taste the best. Unfortunately that opinion is mostly speculation as I haven't been able to try many of them as they tend to lean towards being smyrnas. I've seen many photos of Turkish figs and figs from parts of the middle east and mostly I am not impressed. Assuming we can rule those countries out... The answer is going to be found in the hottest/driest Mediterranean locations where the blastophaga is present and for many generations the people living in that place deeply cared about their figs. That last point is very important. There may be a specific bird that eats figs and travels in a specific migratory pattern throughout the Mediterranean. Either from country to country or island to island. You'll likely find the highest concentration of very tasty varieties in a place like that.
                    Centre Tunisia/Centre Algeria. Arid/Semi Arid. I have yet to taste better figs than the ones there.

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                    • #16
                      On an intuitive basis I would think the Mediterranean areas in conjunction with the fig wasp would yield the best figs. And likely the most consistently.

                      Or more simply could one conclude the areas in which the fig wasp lives are the most conducive to figs?





                      Johnson1
                      Zone 9b
                      S of Tampa Bay, FL

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                      • #17
                        "Are Italian Figs The Best Tasting?"

                        Of course.
                        Danny; NYC Z7b

                        List safe. Bid safe. figBid.com

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                        • #18
                          Nerucciolo, Paradiso, Cavaliere, Fracazzano, Rossellino, Brianzolo, Salame, Brogiotto, Dottato, the list of great Italian figs is quite long. French, Spanish, Portuguese, North African, Greek, Syrian, Lebanese...they are all great.
                          Rafael
                          Zone 7b, Queens, New York

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                          • #19
                            You dont what you dont know, I didnt eat figs in Italy before, and for me Its all about climate, soil, and age of the tree. I tried so many different varieties in different countries here and in Europe and the middle east, my favorite were ones I had in Palestine, Jordan. Never been to Syria, Lebanon or Greece but others from my family told me they are very similar in quality ( not taste ). But I prefer to try for myself first before I decide.
                            MJ
                            Chicago Zone 5
                            Fig Collection Figbid Listings

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                            • SamTO
                              SamTO commented
                              Editing a comment
                              I agree with you that climate, soil, and age of the tree are most important when it comes to maximizing the "quality" of any fig, and thus where you eat them is a major factor. However, I also think the actual variety is just as important, especially since you can't always walk into someone's backyard and pick a fig and have to rely on what's available. I'm not sure which varieties you ate in Palestine or in Jordan, but I lived in Israel for 4 years and ate every fig I could get my hands on and wouldn't say that they were all great or better than ones I've eaten in less favorable climates. Some were mind-bogglingly good, and some were not at all. I also lived in France before that and found the varieties available to be superior and thus enjoyed my fig-eating experience more. I smiled when Enzx name Dottato from Southern Italy because when I was in Sicily, that was the variety I had Sicilian grandmothers running up and down ladders in the heat to bring me (they wouldn't let me climb myself, I offered haha).
                              Last edited by SamTO; 02-19-2020, 02:22 PM.

                            • MJA829
                              MJA829 commented
                              Editing a comment
                              SamTO I agree with you, and as I said I dont know what I dont know, I live in Chicago and having pot grown figs is never the same like in ground in Mediterranean climate, so for me having figs from 20+ years old trees fresh is my best experience when it comes to figs.

                          • #20
                            Unless people have to eat their figs in double-blind taste tests they are just naturally going to prefer the ones from the places they grew up in because - nostalgia. Tastes and smells are some of the things the brain remembers strongest and longest (I assume to keep people from poisoning themselves) and even for people with cognitive issues a taste or smell can instantly transport the person to a different time and place from earliest childhood. It has even become common for people to suddenly start loathing the sight and smell of certain funeral flowers such as lilies and violets after the funeral of a loved one where the flowers were used. For me personally, I cannot stand the taste of ginger-ale because my Mom never gave it to us except when we had been vomiting for an extended period of time and then it was forced upon us. To me, ginger-ale tastes like flue. And I love the taste of orange in everything except Jello because once when I was sick my Mom made me a double recipe of the stuff and when I had gotten the last bit down we went out of town to visit my Grandmother who appeared at the door with another double batch of orange Jello which my Mom made me eat to be polite. Nostalgia is also why many people prefer their Mother's cooking and recipes to random ones.

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                            • #21
                              Spanish figs are far superior to Italian ones..... πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚@ all the many many Italians in here
                              Actively seeking any and all varieties
                              #Sharing is caring
                              Courtenay, BC πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ zone 8a

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                              • BC BYRON
                                BC BYRON commented
                                Editing a comment
                                I was totally baiting TorontoJoe and he didn't even nibble

                              • TorontoJoe
                                TorontoJoe commented
                                Editing a comment
                                The truth is I missed it altogether. So many posts and notifications.... it happens sometimes


                                However BC BYRON

                            • #22
                              Croatian figs

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                              • #23
                                Originally posted by ross View Post
                                Greek figs visually seem like they would taste the best.
                                How many years until we will be able to download a smell from the internet?

                                Actually, you guys with the huge collections -- how about freezing a sampler plate of various figs and selling that in December?
                                1st year newbie --- [My Figs] --- Eastern Missouri --- Zone 6 --- Wish List: a greenhouse and a pallet rack

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                                • #24
                                  California has the arid weather. California has the wasp. The wild figs there are all descendants of named varieties. Yet varieties from there are largely ignored and the Italian ones are better. Must be the ambiance. If wine is to be an example many claim Italian wines to be the best. But in double blind taste tests California always wins.
                                  Northern CA 9b W L- Ponte Tresa, White Madeira#1, Lampiera Prusch, Thermolito, Calabacita, Prat st. U. Rigato del Salento Pb

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                                  • #25
                                    I was just today, gifted with a Calabrese (Southern Italy), light fruiting fig tree (no name known, just light colored fruit from Calabria, maybe it's Dottato), from a new Calabrese American friend. I'll keep you all posted. It may not fruit this year though, it being a bambino.

                                    Thorntorn
                                    W. PA., Pittsburgh, zone 6b USDA, but more 5b, realistically. All pot grown fig trees, no in-grounds.

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