After inviting some local friends (some very experienced in the world of figs, others completely new) I was surprised to learn that there was no unanimous favorite.
And Moro de Caneva were all listed as individual favorites.
Having said that, even the new people to the world of figs agreed that the best tasting fig is the one that's more ripe than not. To aid in this, I picked some of the figs 3-5 days in advance, cut them open and placed them on a plate in the fridge skin side down. This allows them to dehydrate and concentrate their flavors a bit more in the fridge.
I want to thank my friend Romeo for bringing over some varieties to add to the tasting. I was particularly impressed by Naples Dark.
Let's talk about some of the varieties in detail:
Most said that eating Azores Dark was like eating a Marshmello. Not surprising to me, but another favorite Hardy Chicago type was Sicilian Dark. Under normal circumstances, it is not supposed to be a very tasty Hardy Chicago type fig, but because of my very dry soil where it is planted, the figs are top notch in quality. Sicilian Dark has a very fruit forward flavor when of a higher quality. Of the 7-8 Hardy Chicago types that we tasted, not many of them were at the perfect ripeness level, so a fair comparison could not be made. My opinion however still lies with Azores Dark as being the best tasting. Most agreed that it was better than Norella, which by my standard is one of the best Hardy Chicago types. Sicilian Dark was probably the favorite though and I do believe it just has an unfair advantage due to its much drier soil. Even Teramo, Florea and Campaniere from this same drier location are above the normal quality.
LSU Tiger was one talked about quite a bit as its chewy skin really stole the show. Moro de Caneva also had a bit of that chewy skin, but nothing like Tiger.
Risoulet has a very thick texture like a Coll de Dama.
My first Boscorosso had a acidic almost cherry like fruitiness.
Texas BA-1 was also one of the favorites being so similar to Smith. The same thing could be said about Ronde de Bordeaux. Another high ranking choice that tastes of plums.
Brocalet was enjoyed by those preferring a meatier texture. Although not as ripe as some, the potential was evident.
A lot could be said about more varieties, but the two that I think are a cut above the rest are Hative d'Argenteuil and Campaniere. Campaniere because of its dry soil, but the earthiness was quite special. It felt like I was eating the soil it came from. Hative was very sweet, layered with all kinds of sugar flavors, but it has an impressive berry flavor. To me just a cherry. If you took a fig, a cherry and blended that with caramel, that would spell Hative.