|USDA / UC Davis Accession Data
[I]t seems somewhat hardier than Celeste. Plants are vigorous and productive. (004) You can find a listing of local varieties, not described in the literature, but possibly very worthy of growing on the U.S. Varieties Page. (006) Said to be very hardy, but one of my two plants was winter killed in the La Nina winter of 1998- 99 and the other severely damaged. Good flavor, medium, dark purple fruit. (001c) I have Sal's Fig & Negronne (aka Violette de Bordeaux). They rank among my favorites because of their productivity and taste. Negronne is hard to beat on taste, but Sal's is very good too. (907)
Via a phone call with Hanc Matthies I learned that he received his cutting of Sals via the Seed Savers Exchange. After propagating this fig, he gave one to Michael at Edible Landscaping. Hanc stated that Hardy Chicago and Sals were similar, but not the same fig. He said that this fig came from a guy named Sal living in Huntington on Long Island. He said that a cutting of this fig was given to the DiPaola brothers at Belleclare.
I contacted Paul Traceski and learned that he had a fig (the only one left in his collection) that came from Italy and was growing at Sal's house near Huntington Station on Long Island. This fig was known locally as the "Second Story Fig Tree because the top portion of the tree would be bent in through a second story window for winter protection while the lower part was wrapped up. Paul collected a start of this tree directly from a side shoot and planted it at his home. Paul gave this fig to the DiPaola brothers at Belleclare.
Paul describes it as a small green fig with some red blush, white rind and strawberry red inside. He said that figs not picked would dry on the tree and that he was eating them like dates by Thanksgiving. He said it would try to ripen its fruit in marginal weather conditions.
After getting the description from Paul, I realized that the fig described by Hanc was the same as Paul's fig, and a followup phone visit confirmed it. Other descriptions of this "Sal's" don't match perfectly, but preliminary comparisons indicate they are the same fig. Therefore if my research is correct, this fig should be the same as: 1) Belleclare #39 2) Sals #1 (Vasile's name) 3) the Edible Landscaping's Sals.
Hanc had negative opinion of the taste of this fig while Paul thought very highly of it. (1001)