Updated: Jun 14
I'm starting a series of blog posts related to fig varieties that are standards, they're easy to find, inexpensive and are just a classic variety that you ought to know like the back of your hand.
First up is Ronde de Bordeaux.
Taste grouping: Bordeaux Berry
Texture: Meaty ripening towards jammy
Size: Medium - Small
Ripening period: Very early
Rain resistance: High
Spoilage resistance: High
Hang time: Average
Split resistance: Low
Climate preference: Well adapted
Hardiness: Above average
Growth habit: Spreading
Commercial potential? Yes
Light requirements: Slightly below average
Productivity: Slightly above average
Taste rating: 4.1/5
Ronde de Bordeaux by many accounts is an overall top tier fig variety. Sometimes it doesn't get enough love though because it's easy to find and therefore is usually inexpensive, but all serious collectors know its true value. It originates from France and translates to Round of Bordeaux. I imagine that it has been growing in the Bordeaux region and other areas of France for quite some time. France and particularly the Bordeaux region really care about their fruits. It's only common sense to think that a fig variety coming from a place like that would be a winner. Now you can find it all over the world. Even growing commercially in Africa.
What I really like about RdB other than having the majority of the great qualities you look for in a fig variety is that is has good shriveling capabilities as shown in the two photos above. That's different in my view to drying capabilities because it's a bit more difficult to dry on the tree than varieties that I would consider figs great for drying, but if you really like your figs ripe and flavorful, it can gain a shriveled and semi-dried appearance on the tree consistently due to its superior spoilage resistance. Even after splitting, which it frequently can do due to its round shape. When semi-dried like this, it's like eating candy. It's an explosion of flavor and sweetness in your mouth that's usually quite jammy and thick by this point making it a 4.5/5 on my scale. It does tastes wonderful when picked early, but for my money, I would choose others over RdB at that stage. When picked early I'd give it a 3.5/5. Certainly though one of the best overall fig varieties and deserving of a spot in every serious fig collectors' yard.
Check out my recent video on Ronde de Bordeaux on my YouTube channel: