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San Biagio - Rare and Early Italian Fig

Updated: Jan 15



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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Varietal Characteristics


  • Origin: Pomona Gardens

  • Categorization: Unknown

  • Similar varieties: None

  • Taste grouping: Cherry

  • Texture: Jammy

  • Size: Small

  • Ripening period: Early

  • Vigor: Low

  • Rain resistance: Unknown

  • Shape: Spherical

  • Hang time: Average

  • Split resistance: Unknown

  • Climate preference: Dry/long-season climates. Potentially humid climates. Short season climates.

  • Hardiness: Unknown

  • Taste rating: 4.6/5

  • Light requirements: Below average

  • Productivity: High

  • Does it need pollination? No

  • Fruit color: Green, grey, and yellow skin with a red pulp

  • Soil pH level: 6.0-7.5


Origin and History:


Originating from Italy's Pomona Gardens, the San Biagio fig is a rare find that brings a strong cherry flavor profile to the early part of the fig season. It’s a small and round fig with green-yellow skin and deep red pulp.

What I’ve Learned So Far:


Early to Ripen: Among the first figs to kick off the season. Even in warm areas of Italy.

Distinct Cherry Flavor: Notable cherry taste with a refreshing touch of acidity and a hint of nuttiness. Read about other cherry-flavored figs here.

Small and Productive: Despite its compact size, the tree produces plenty of small, round figs. San Biagio naturally produces thinner branches and grows to a slightly smaller overall size. I would classify this as a semi-dwarf fig tree. A dwarf in terms of the average caliper thickness.

Thrives in the Cold: Although still unproven in my Southern exposure planting, San Biagio is showing stronger colder hardiness than the other almost 60 varieties planted there.


Skin Bitterness: The skin may have a slightly bitter taste, especially late in the growing season.

When temperatures are cooler and the sugar content of figs is lower, the bitterness can overpower Nerucciolo’s sweetness. Acidity, bitterness, and sweetness need to be in balance. If one dominates the other two, that can be a turnoff for most palates. Especially during cold fall weather, but most of the crop ripens early enough to avoid this phenomenon, and in warmer climates than mine, you may not even recognize this about Nerucciolo.

Overall:


San Biagio shows promise for those who love early-season figs with a unique flavor. Its small size, ability to withstand cold weather, and high productivity make it versatile for different climates and spaces. The intense cherry flavor and refreshing acidity make it a great addition for growers in short-season climates.

For more details:


Check out Ross the Fig Boss's YouTube video for a comprehensive visual and taste exploration of San Biagio.


Note that this review is based on Ross's initial experience and may only partially capture the fig's potential. Further observations and trials are needed to understand its strengths and weaknesses completely.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm Ross, the "Fig Boss." A YouTuber educating the world on the wonderful passion of growing fig trees. Apply my experiences to your own fig journey to grow the best tasting food possible.
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