Favorite figs for drying

fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TXMay 1, 2006

Hello fig growers! I spend a lot of time on the orchard forum but not much here. Reason is I've never found a fresh fig I like. But I do love dried figs; esp Calimyrna and second Black Mission. Do I assume Calimyrna is from fig of the same name? What are your favorite figs for drying? Are the favorites listed in the other current post also good for drying?

I have a greenhouse that runs quite hot and has a 300+ day growing season. I don't think there would be many, if any, pollinating insects that would cause the rotting problem I've heard about that some figs suffer from. I may get rid of the citrus and plant figs in the ground on the hottest end of the greenhouse or try figs in a pot. Any help will be greatly appreciated!!

The Fruitnut

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gene_washdc(zone 5a)

Most figs used for drying are the Smyrna type - the kind that require pollination (requires caprifigs and special wasps). I think a big reason is the texture and flavor that the seeds add. Of course as you mentioned, the Black mission is also dried sometimes, and it doesn't require pollination -- but in my opinion they're not as good either. I never bother drying figs myself, they're so easy/cheap to buy and usually better than what I could grow here for drying. Fresh is what's expensive to buy, and home grown is better quality.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 4:21PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Gene:

Thank you for the info. I read up on the Calimyrna fig and how it is produced. No way I can match the commercial producers on the figs requiring pollination. Guess I'll have to try to find the really premium quality fruit online. Seems like I often end up with less quality than I could buy when I lived in CA.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 7:25PM
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herman2_gw

Get yourself a true Celeste and a true Adriatic fig + one of those electric dryer and you are going to beat California Quality double.
I was buyng Figs and raisins from the most reputable buisness and the raisins had sand in them,and the figs were not that good because they force ripe them and they do not have the maximum sugar and flavor.They dry them on ground surface,on tarps and if it is windy it blows sand on them.
Also be worry of your teeth,when you it them,the sand can do some damage.
I had some super flavorfull figs last year from my backyard and i am sure if i dried them it would have been better than Ca.figs.Hope this will help

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 9:10PM
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figfarmer

Hey Fruitnut, You must be between Van Horn and Fort Davis area of SW Texas to get up to 4500 feet elevation. Good hot, dry area for many varieties of figs. FF

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 11:40PM
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leon_edmond(z7NM)

Sierra (6-38W) is the lastest contender for the dried fig industry. It is the result of a controlled pollination of the Calimyrna (Sari Lop) fig as seed parent and the D13-39 caprifig as the pollen parent. It is of the common type and needs no caprification to bear fruit. The fruit of Sierra begins to ripen about 7-10 days after the commercial fig Calimyrna, but continues to bear fruit beyond the usual Calimyrna season. I believe scion for the Sierra fig is available from UC Davis.
Kadota is a very common backyard fig. It is the principle drying fig in Italy.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 12:03AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Thanks guys. Don't know as I can equal the CA boys but it's worth a try. Have a couple figs planted outside; Celeste and Brown Turkey. Don't know if it is a true Celeste. Figured the greenhouse would be even better than outside. Did get to about 2F this winter and froze most figs to the ground; this won't happen in the greenhouse. I am in Alpine TX. Zero rain, not even 0.01" since Oct 14 last yr.

Any chance Mission would be better in the greenhouse than the two I have?

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 7:19PM
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gorgi(z7a_NJ)

For the sake of argumement, this summer I will let a few of
my 'tiny' Celeste to totally dry out on the tree. I am not
really interested in DRY figs (I usually gobble them all up
fresh). However, as Herman suggested, I did notice that my
Celeste tends to dry out on mama (even here in NJ!), pending
that there are no fig vermint around.
George (NJ).

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 7:42PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Well, have my shopping list for next yrs figs:

Fresh: Negronne, Black Madeira, Lattarula, Petite Negra.

Drying/fresh: Celeste, Adratic, Sierra, Kadota, and Black Mission.

Thanks for all the help!

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 10:23PM
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gene_washdc(zone 5a)

I picked up some dried figs at the supermarket this weekend, and opened it up last night. They were the most perfect dried figs I've ever had. Sweet, plump, just the right moisture content -- not too dry and tough, nor too moist and mushy. It was the store brand (Giant), organic, dried Turkish figs. I hate to say this, but I've always ranked Turkish dried figs the best, Greek second, and Californian a distant third.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2006 at 8:42AM
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capumastru(z6NJ)

Hate to rain on your parade, by my love for figs starts with the fresh in the morning right off the tree. Second choice is the ones I froze from last year's crop, thawed of course. Third is the dried Turkish imports. They just have a passion for doing it right.
The cooked and frozen ones are far superior to dried, but that of course is a personal biased opinion. Don't get me wrong I put away (eaten) more than my share of dried figs, actually they kinda fill the quick energy spike when I'm too lazy to thaw out a package of frozen ones. Ever since we discovered the freezing method we have never thrown a fig away, anything we can't eat is cooked up and frozen that same day. Even bought an extra freezer just for figs and other good things like frozen cooked whole tomatoes and frozen cooked cardoons.
As for the best variety, whatever tastes good fresh will be better frozen and thawed to eat, or just on top of some vanilla ice cream.
Filipo

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 9:57PM
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kcbeave(z7 GA)

How do you cook and freeze figs? Sounds like what I need to do this year.

Thanks

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 9:09PM
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gorgi(z7a_NJ)

Fresh figs rule...

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 12:14AM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

In each bag of figlets (sorry can't recall the brand) there is usually 3-4 wonderful, amazingly great dried figs. The rest are ok, good for a quick snack if your energy is running low.

I bought a bag of "tender dried figs" the same company also makes other "tender dried" fruits and these were quite good. I can't remember where I got them, though.

The white dried figs, that one finds dried into rings in grocery stores, are barely palatable in my opinion. I find the skins too tough and the flavor runs from good through mealy (with more of them running mealy than good).

~Chills

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 9:38PM
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bjs496

I tried a dried fig in the bulk food section of Whole Foods in Princeton tonight. It was labeled "Calimyrna" and was surprisingly good. The skin was not tough and the fig was sweet.

~james

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 11:41PM
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vern_2006(7)

My mother- in law bought a bag of Mission figs by Dole from the grocery store a week or so ago. I tried one and found it tasteless. The ones I dried this summer were much better.

Vern

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 12:40PM
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pitangadiego(San Diego, CA)

Vern, the ones in the store were not really ripe. If they had been fully ripe, they wouldn't stay fresh long enough to get them through the food supply chain to you without spoiling.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 6:16PM
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mountainman0826(z8B TX)

The dried figs distributed by Sunmaid (Calimyrna and Mission) are pretty good, although, as Jon and Vern say, still not as good as the ones you dry yourself! (assuming that the figs don't sour while you're drying them.) They are good for satisfying a fig craving in the winter when there are no other figs to be had. The best dried figs I have ever had were brought from Turkey and given to me as a gift by some friends who live there. The figs are no doubt of the "smyrna" group and probably require caprification. The figs were very nutty and flavorful like the calimyrna, but appeared to have been dried in a slightly more mature condition.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 7:44PM
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elder(6VA)

fruitnut - what kinds of fresh figs have you eaten that you don't like fresh figs? Were they truly fresh figs, ripened on the tree?.....Elder

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 11:49PM
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