The Many Strains of the Mt Etna Fig Variety, aka Mongibello

Either a single cultivar or a group of very closely related strains, the Mongibello or Mt Etna variety may be the most common type of fig grown in northern zones.

This type of fig can be traced to Mt Etna, Sicily where it is known as Mongibello, beautiful mountain, presumably combining the Sicilian Mungibeddu with the Italian Montebello. If planted outdoors and killed to the ground by severe cold over winter, Mongibello is the cultivar most likely to ripen fruit on new growth in summer.

Various forms of protection can help most fig cultivars avoid total top-kill. One simple method: in fall, press low limbs flat to the ground and cover with layers of leaves, wood chips, or dirt.

A bountiful fig with a wonderful grape-strawberry flavor, Mongibello begins to ripen a couple weeks after the earliest cultivars, all things equal. Of any fig cultivar grown in ground in cold zones, robust Mongibello seems best able to ripen fruit each year.

These figs are known and distributed under many names, including: Hardy Chicago, Takoma Violet, Gino’s Black, Sal’s EL/GS, Maryland Berry, Zingarella, Rossi Dark, Marseilles Black, Keddie, Malta Black, Black Greek, Spanish Unknown, Dark Portuguese, Salem Dark, Black Bethlehem, Macool, St Rita, Danny’s Delight, Jersey Fig, Martini, Don Fortis, Hardy Pittsburgh, Hardy Hartford, Mt Etna Unknown, GM #11 (Sicilian Dark), Abba, NJ Red, San Donato (Calabria), Dominick’s, Bari …

A couple links (from below) with good information on the subject:
Hardy Chicago Photo Thread At GardenWeb
Hardy Chicago, Sal’s… Thread At GardenWeb

Characteristic Mount Etna / Mongibello fig leaves shape:characteristic Mongibello fig leaf

And fruit:

Ginoso
Ginoso
Hardy Chicago
Hardy Chicago
Keddie
Keddie
Marseilles Black
Marseilles Black
Maryland Berry
Maryland Berry
Rossi Dark
Rossi Dark
Sal's
Sal’s
Spanish Unknown
Spanish Unknown
Takoma Violet
Takoma Violet
Mt Etna Unknown
Mt Etna Unknown
Natalina
Natalina
Salem Dark
Salem Dark
Gino's Black
Gino’s Black
Dark Portuguese
Dark Portuguese
Black Greek
Black Greek