First tastes

I had my first tastes of several apples today.
Somerset Redstreak: Already mealy and topworked (Kidd’s OR, Orleans, and Karmijn) today. If you need an early, astringent, cider apple, its good. Too early ripening for me.
Foxwhelp windfalls: Surprisingly good, tart apple. Crispy and juicy. Seeds were black.
Chieftain: Too early yet, starchy. Set a good crop for a 3rd leaf tree. This will be a keeper when ripe.
Egremont Russet: Really tasty already, browns fast. Not crispy, but firm and chewy, lots of juice.

If you are tasting a fruit for the first time, share your opine.


Well, this is kinda embarrassing, And I wouldn’t blame y’all if I got banished from this prestigious forum of fruit experts…OK?…

I was reading about figs on this forum and how to tell they are ripe and looking at the beautiful pictures of cut figs so I thought I’d check the one my son gave me (that we think is a Brown Turkey). It had one breba, and it was drooping with a little wrinkle. I touched it and it fell into my hand. OMG, now I have to taste it. I’ve NEVER had a fresh fig before. I carefully cut it open, examining for bugs, saw none and popped a tiny piece in my mouth. I’ve never tasted a fruit so good. Ever. Uber flavorful, beautiful color and texture.

OK so y’all are on to something, LOL.


Don’t feel badly, Anne. I’m of Italian heritage. My grandmother, who was from the Bologna area always ALWAYS had a fig tree and a lemon tree with her at all times, no matter where she lived (from Brooklyn to Canada and many parts in between, including, eventually S. California). She said you should have lemons and figs every day, that it was good for your health. She apparently was right because she lived to nearly 100. Even though my family all ate figs (if you are Italian, you eat figs. Period. End of topic.), I never did as a kid. For some reason, they sort of grossed me out, lol!! I didn’t try a fig again until about 10 years ago. Good thing my tastes had changed. So, now I’m trying to muster up the courage to knock on the door of her old home, and ask if I could have a cutting from the fig tree I hope is still there. That tree was from a cutting she carried over from Italy, at age 16. She took a cutting or potted fig from the original tree from Bologna every time she moved. That would be a wonderful thing. Enjoy! One of our list members just posted a really delicious roasted fig recipe with honey and goat cheese. Going to prepare my Ronde de Bordeaux figs tonight using that recipe!

Patty S.


Try to get the cutting. Worst thing that can happen is you don’t get it. Better than not even trying.


Just go. Not for the fig’s sake but because it is part of your heritage, AND, you can pass it on to your children with a story that goes with it, and they can do the same. I hope it is still there.
Edit: And please let us know how it goes.

1 Like

Go Patty! That’s an awesome story and I’d bet the new homeowners would be happy to give you some cuttings.

I agree with the others Patty, it would be great to save, and spread the tree around too. So many figs we have now were found the same way. I just bought an Olympian fig, found in Washington state.
UC tested it and it didn’t match the genetics of over 200 cultivars they keep. An unknown line of figs!

Hah, well, I’m a rather shy person, so trying to figure out how to just show up and knock on the door, lol! “Hi, I know you don’t know me, but my lovely Italian grandmother owned this home prior to you moving in. Do you happen to still have a fig tree growing in your courtyard?” Will have a few months to perfect my approach, so I can nab some cuttings when dormant. Egad. :open_mouth:


Well, if you showed up at my door with that lovely introduction I would certainly welcome you and let you take all the cuttings you like.


Exactly. What if someone approached your door with that same request? You go girl.

@JustAnne4, the brown turkey type of figs are a point of departure for fig lovers. I’m in the camp that loves them. Soft, juicy and honeyed figs are such a treat. The best I’ve had are ‘Black Jack’, truly an outstanding variety.

1 Like

Wow, I’m kind of a “new” fig lover, but I think one of my very best and most delicious figs is my California Brown Turkey. I’m with you, Clint, it is really outstanding. As good as Panache, just tastes different. Definitely what I would say is more of a true “figgy” taste, but rich and delicious. Fantastic with honey and goat cheese.

It just shows when considering figs that would do well for you it’s best to pay most attention to folks feedback in climates and growing conditions similar to your own.

Here in the Southeast neither the California Brown Turkey types or Panache seems consistently good. Panache I have had a few wonderful fruit, but for me personally it seems to split before ripe and spoil if left and non-ripe dryish, but I don’t recall a west coast person that doesn’t rave on it and just hope it ripens for me during a drier window. California Brown Turkey types Black Jack and such often are bland here with a large void that is often starting to spoil prior to fully ripe, these large figs I find I have to monitor more closely and normally can’t let them ripen to the level I prefer on most figs. I do kind of like almost creamy texture on some of these Ca. BT types even at the milder flavor, a few in S.E. really like Black Jack and think they manage it like I do, and of coarse if you have the wasp that’s a whole other world, but even if you don’t a more arid climate etc… really is different than the humid S.E.

Goat Cheese? My wife is making another batch from our goats today. Some of it will surely meet the figs. And I have about 3 gals of local Honey ready to go.

Best figs to all


I think that is very true, Phil, especially in the SE part of the USA. I think you’re probably better off with any number of the outstanding LSU cultivars in the SE. S. California’s climate is just about identical to the fig’s native climate, so we are very fortunate to be able to grow any fig here, and expect really excellent fruit. Glad I learned to love them!!

Patty S.

The best figs for my area I have tried, or researched well are Florea, Malta Black and Takoma Violet.
Others too, Atreano is another, many actually. These tend to taste better here, than they do in the west. Any Bass suggests work too. I would say about 30 varieties are worth trying here.

1 Like

For my taste, Black Jack is a subpar fig.

That’s exactly my experience with Black Jack in hot and dry California climate.

Same here in my hot dry greenhouse. BJ was big and watery fruit. But it could be culture as much as cultivar. If a mature plant is in a situation where heat and light are great enough and water at a steady deficit, BJ might be a very good fig.