I wanted to talk about some figs I've had more experience with this season. To say that I am impressed is an understatement. Almost all of these are not big names, but they should be in every humid climate grower's arsenal.
First up is Violette de Marseilles aka Blue Celeste. This is a Thierry fig that I actually thought would end up being a Black Celeste strain. In the first photo I have it side by side LSU Tiger. They're almost identical visually and have the same figgy, sweet, fruity, concord grape flavor profile. Well actually this fig is Calderwood (assumed LSU Tiger). Surprisingly I haven't seen the blue exterior from other growers of LSU Tiger, but mine is consistently blue when perfectly ripe. Tiger is about double the size, more vigorous and more productive, but VdM has a shorter hang time, better drying capabilities and has a slightly more intense and complex flavor. I couldn't believe how similar these figs are and that no one has ever noticed. I would not be surprised if they share some genetics in some way. It's like LSU bred a bigger and more productive Blue Celeste. Something to note because I know someone will ask... Blue Celeste is legitimately blue as shown in the second photo. When it gets shades of blue on the skin, it's ready to pick, but as it ripens it turns bluer and will eventually turn totally blue. A normal Celeste shouldn't do that. At least not that I have seen. The flavor profile and eating experience is quite similar to Celeste, but Blue Celeste has strong fruity and concord grape notes. That's all I've got on this one for now. I need to make more comparisons before any of these statements are final in my mind.
Verdino del Nord (VR) is next. Aka Figoin. I've spoken about this fig quite a bit. It's indestructible and dries on the tree with cork tints. Short hang time. Productive. It's like eating a fig gem. Thick and jammy and better than a CDDG I had side by side.
Pecciolo Bianco. Similar profile to Hollier and Albo, but I think it'll be better than them both. Has drying capabilities. Not sure to what extent yet.
LSU Purple. Probably the most underrated fig on this thread. You're a fool if you don't like this fig and I will no longer trust your fig tasting reviews. It's not the best by any means, but it's like eating fig jelly combined with melons, mild berries, honey, brown sugar and cinnamon. The off putting flavor people have been describing for years comes from the skin. It's a spice flavor that you find in persimmons & Sweet Joy. Personally I think it adds something special, but if you don't like that flavor, just don't eat the skin. Really though.. I have been overly impressed by its other features. Very short hang time, gets perfectly ripe very easily and clearly has strong rain resistance. I wouldn't be surprised if this fig had Black Mission in its parentage. Very similar visually, but with better flavor and less berry.
Rosselino. You don't hear much about this fig. I originally thought that it would be a HC type, but it's actually quite different. Flavor is not too far off, but it has superior drying capabilities and a shorter hang time than any other HC type I've tried. In fact.. I'd put it a small step below Elba and Verdino Del Nord in terms of its performance in humid climates. Used for many years in regions of Italy specifically for drying. When picked fresh, it's similar to a mediocre HC. When picked shriveled or dried, it's fig candy. Super fruity, very sweet and complex. Quite intense berry on this one. Small size.
Hative d'Argentueil. Visually it looks like a combination of LSU Tiger, Black Madeira & Bourjassotte Grise, but flavor wise I believe that it's a slightly more complex version of Smith. Takes awhile for the flavor to fully mature. Super rain resistant, short hang time, productive. Without a doubt this is the most beautiful fig I grow. This fig really came along since I had my first in 2017. These were some of the best figs I had all year.
Edit: I've been dreaming about this blog entry, lmao.
Truthfully these varieties are not top tier varieties that demand high prices, but they're better than 98% of all varieties I have tried here in my location.
You can see my spreadsheet in my signature for a full list of varieties I recommend: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1i3l2K21bbaAkHjmSnqPX4yvoWEYJ7-YjHOtMPFoe1ME/edit?usp=sharing