Gentile

Gentile

Among the very most ancient of our fruit varieties. Gentile was the Ficus Tiburtina, brought in wicker baskets from Tivoli for the pleasure of Romans two millenia ago. Ulisse Aldrovandi of Bologna, the founder of biology, wrote in the XVI century of the Gentilium fig, then known and grown throughout Italy. Within the last century, Gentile has been forgotten everywhere but in the Riviera ponente, where it survives particularly as the beloved fig of Menton. Introduced into California in the 1850s under the name 'White San Pedro' and became one of the great figs of the coastal counties and Central Valley. Today it survives only in our collection of figs.

The eponymous type of all "San Pedro" type figs, Gentile ripens an early crop in July without need for wasps, but no later autumn crop without benefit of caprification. It is the early crop in July that makes this variety indispensable. Large, oblate straw yellow fruits in plenty, with sweet amber flesh; caprified fruits obtain a slight pink flesh color. Tree broad and spreading, with characteristic bulbous growths along trunk and branches, speedy to make shade, White San Pedro trees were a feature of the skyline for the length of the San Joaquin Valley a century ago.
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