Updated: Oct 20
There are 1000s of fig varieties in existence, but fig varieties like Molla Vermella are worth learning about. Check out the other comprehensive variety reviews I’ve created on other fig varieties on the variety directory page found here:
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Origin: Monserrat Pons
Categorization: Common / Bifera
Similar varieties: Beat Ramon & Joualle Noire
Taste grouping: Complex Berry
Ripening period: Late
Rain resistance: Above average
Hang time: Below average
Split resistance: Above average
Climate preference: Well adapted
Taste rating: 4.9/5
Light requirements: High
Origin and Comparison:
Molla Vermella is a distinctive variety from Monserrat Pons' esteemed collection in Spain and has become one of my favorite fig varieties for its great performance in unideal weather conditions and its must-experience cakey texture.
When you delve into comparisons, I believe Beat Ramon, another variety from Pons' collection, shares noticeable similarities with Molla Vermella, and both varieties, as cited in Pons' book, bear resemblances to figs bearing the Albacor name.
Two quotes from Pons’ book, “Fig Trees of the Balearic Islands” should clear up the confusion.
“The MOLLA VERMELLA variety owes its name to the color of its pulp, a very intense dark red, rare. Differentiated from the variety “Albacor de Molla Vermella”, in specific descriptors, although from the name it may appear to be the same variety.”
“The ALBACOR DE MOLLA VERMELLA variety, like the other Albacor varieties, owes its name simply to the color of its pulp.”
Simply put, Molla Vermella is similar to other fig varieties that have the name Albacor, but only because of their dark red pulp color. Despite these comparisons, Molla Vermella is far superior to any fig with the name Albacor.
Texture and Eating Experience:
At first glance, the external appearance of Molla Vermella might suggest a close resemblance to the Black Mission fig. However, its internal texture is where it truly shines and is differentiated. Molla Vermella boasts one of the finest textures among the figs I've tasted. This unique texture is reminiscent of another beloved fig of mine called, Joualle Noire.
Joualle Noire and the Coll de Dama figs set a high benchmark for texture in figs. Their pulp is extraordinarily thick and jammy, surpassing almost all other fig varieties. The consistency is so dense that it mirrors that of pancake batter, giving an experience akin to savoring a natural cake created by nature.
Molla Vermella’s Potential Link to Joualle Noire:
Another intriguing observation regarding Molla Vermella comes from fig grower Eric Durtschi, who found Beat Ramon and Joualle Noire to be indistinguishable. Although my experience with Joualle Noire's main crop has been limited, my records indicate it has a longer hang time. It's plausible that this prolonged hang time is more characteristic of its breba crop, as most brebas tend to require more time to reach full ripeness. Regardless, it seems that these 3 varieties share a lot of similarities.
Performance in Poor Weather Conditions:
What also caught my attention with Molla Vermella was its impressive taste and quality, even when it's not fully ripe. Its eating experience, when harvested underripe, is parallel to the excellence of Adriatic figs. This adaptability suggests that Molla Vermella would also perform exceptionally well in humid climates, maintaining its flavor profile despite the challenges of the environment.
I wrote a detailed article covering fig varieties that taste great even when underripe. Check it out, here: