De La Senyora (Hivernenca) (MP) - The Black Madeira Killer

As I mentioned in my closing thoughts post last year: -- DLS (Hivernenca) was one of my new favorites. Namely because of the very short hang time and it's ability to ripen well even in cold fall weather. I picked one two days ago before the rains we've been having at a day 3 hang time and it was still very good. Ideally you want this fig though at the day 4-6 mark. The longer the better of course, but it's one of the few figs out of hundreds that I've ripened now that can be picked very early and still be considered "ripe". Raasti's Persian Unk is one. LSU Champagane the only other I can think of. This is why I highly value these varieties. Because with a lightning fast 4 day hang time, you can almost guarantee that you will pick a high percentage of the figs your tree is ripening. Out of 100, I would argue that you will pick at least 90-95% of the crop. While I have other top name varieties like BM with a 6-10 day hang time, I may only enjoy 30% of the crop in a normal year. To prove my point further, this fig is very tasty. One of the few I rate at a 5. The flavor and texture is very reminiscent of BM. It also ripens roughly at the same time of the year BM does, so in a sense.. this fig is the Black Madeira killer.

In my recent episode of Fruit Talk!: -- my viewers thought that I was losing interest in collecting figs. That is far from the truth. I have simply come to the realization that I have figs that are superior genetically. That are replacements to figs that I held so dearly over the years. Without emotional attachment, it will be easy to move on this fall and therefore I will be saying goodbye to my Black Madeira. I am not saying this is the right course of action for everyone, but growers in the area will soon realize what I'm talking about after acquiring this variety.

If you want details on the growing characteristics, consult Pons' book or website. Speaking of Pons he has written on this variety. "La Hivernenca, Coll de dama Ciutat, De la Senyora, Margalera, and Morro de Bou, are genetically equal varieties by dendogram, but different molecularly and agronomically, maturation, size, shape, etc. so they are considered different varieties. DE LA SENYORA variety is called by different names, as we have seen in synonyms, this being provoked by the great variability which affects the morphological characteristics of the figs and to a lesser degree the foliage." In reference to Coll de Dama Ciutat, "This variety, which was unknown by Estelrich, is sometimes known as Hivernenca, - with which it shares its origin - , but it is distinguished from this variety by its appearance, taste, ripening period, peduncle etc. The BERGUNYA variety is originally from Banyalbufar. Estelrich names Bergunya as a synonym of Hivernenca, with which is shares a great similarity, but in Banyalbufar and adjoining areas, the variety can be found and observed as being different from Hivernenca, using the descriptors of the fruit, leaves, both agronomical and biological characteristics which discover a significant difference in the variety such as the more pear-shaped form of the figs, lesser dimensions in weight, and more resistant to the opening of the eye and a finer, thinner skin." So the good news is that a lot of you serious collectors probably already have this variety. However I don't know if the superior short hang time I am seeing in DLS (H) will be the same in the other varieties mentioned. That's really key for my high praise.

I would venture to speculate that Ouriola & Labritja also fall under this umbrella. Why? Well they match visually, but also because I don't trust Thierry and his naming anymore. The most important indicator of this variety I find to be is the cracking (usually numerous, horizontal and vertical) the shape, the colors and the leaves. Lastly, I've read it somewhere, but Hivernenca is a popular commercial variety. It only makes sense like Black Mission & Brown Turkey that these figs can be found all over the world.

Day 3 -- Bottom middle:

Day 4:

Day 6:

760 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All