Peter’s Honey and Kadota are fig varieties that often, like many others, get confused. Are they the same fig variety, and if not, how are they different?
Those are the two questions usually asked about Kadota and Peter’s Honey fig. There are even those who swear they are the same fig variety.
Are Peter’s Honey and Kadota Fig the Same?
Kadota and Peter’s Honey are both honey figs originating from Italy. Although not the same, they are, in fact, very similar. Even more so when looking at them for the very first time.
Why are people often confusing Peter’s Honey and Kadota figs?
Because they are occasionally sold under the same name, Kadota and Peter’s Honey are confusing consumers. People have purchased and sold under that name, perpetuating the error.
As a result, some people have tried both and concluded that they are different, while others have concluded they are identical (since they were identical…one was simply mislabeled).
The problem is unknowledgeable websites write about them being the same, and some nurseries still label them the same.
Even without that mislabeling, sometimes Kadota and Peter’s Honey grow so similar that inexperienced growers can easily mistake them.
What Are Kadota Figs?
Stephen H. Taft, renowned horticulture and member of the Centenary Club of Southern California, is the only person to have discovered the Kadota fig, which is now known as the Kadota.
When Mr. Taft discovered and named the original tree of this variety, it appeared in an orchard owned by Mr. Cyrus Way of Whittier, who received cuttings from Mr. Iheo. Hockett from his orchard of Dottaios, which in turn came from an orchard owned by Mr. R. Thompson of Orange County, California, who imported cuttings from Europe in 1887.
Mr. Way’s orchard had only one tree that exhibited exceptional vigor, development, and early fruit output compared to the rest of the orchard.
Taft’s keen eye quickly saw in this stranger the precise features and virtues that progressive fig farmers across the world have been searching for for so long now.
Or, at least that’s how their story goes, written in several books.
In reality, this was likely a marketing trick for California’s growing fig market that was struggling to compete against big European fig growers at the time.
As we can see, the Kadota fig originates directly from the Dottato fig variety from Italy.
People may find tiny differences between them, but they are likely due to more than a century passing while they grew in different climates and soil conditions.
Some differences can even be associated with the confusion with Peter’s Honey fig mentioned above.
All in all, I have no reason to consider Kadota to be anything different than a Dotatto fig.
Kadota fig types vary greatly through their growth periods and age; therefore, distinctions have to be quite obvious to justify labeling them as different varieties.
Description and Taste
It is soft, yellow-green on the outside, and guava light pink on a ripe Kadota fig interior. Medium-sized fruit and medium-sized tree. They have a strong yet pleasant sweetness to them.
Even though they are the most known honey fig type, I would say there are lots of other more honey-like tasting fig varieties. Kadota has a noticeable fruit flavor mixture underneath all that sweetness.
Grows well only in warm climates, but unlike most fig varieties, it ripens well in humidity.
What Are Peter’s Honey Figs?
All that is known for certain about Peter’s Honey fig variety is that it originates from Sicily. It is one of the ancient types of figs brought to the US by Peter Danna, from whom they got their name.
Although it comes from an area fairly close to Dotatto/Kadota fig, it is different.
That is one of the reasons why some thought Kadota and Peter’s Honey figs were the same. The fact is, Italians have lots of similar honey-type fig varieties that are completely unknown in the US.
This comparison might even make them laugh.
Description and Taste
Peter’s Honey is a medium-sized yellow-green fig. Light amber-like color inside when ripe, although it can be brownish when not properly ripened.
The taste has one of the strongest honey resemblances out there. However, not too sweet. Sometimes even unsweet.
The tree has unusual vigorous growth potential, which is why I believe they sometimes end up being less sweet than they should. More energy is spent on growth than would be optimal.
I ended up being disappointed several times by its lack of sweetness.
Peter’s Honey fig grows well only in warm climates, but, unlike Kadota fig, it doesn’t ripen well in humidity.
Key Differences of Peter’s Honey and Kadota Fig
To put it simply, differences based on my observations:
- Kadota has light pink insides, while Peter’s Honey has light amber insides when ripe.
- Kadota is sweeter with a mix of bland honey and fruity taste, while Peter’s Honey is less sweet with pure honey flavor.
- Peter’s Honey fig tree wants to grow vigorously, making it a good potted tree because it tends to grow better fruit when restricted in its growth.
I find Kadota variety superior to Peter’s Honey in almost everything.
I would say Kadota is one of the varieties that is easy to grow for beginners who live in warmer climates, especially because it never disappoints in fruit quality.
Peter’s Honey, on the other hand, requires getting to know the tree and how it grows before you can consistently grow quality fruit. Also, it’s even more restricted to specific climate types.