Know Your Produce? Avocados

GuacamoleAs we get closer to the February 2nd Super Bowl match-up, avocados take center stage about as much as any fresh food on the marketplace. Here are both some fun and interesting facts about avocados. Enjoy:

  • Avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable.
  • In Brazil avocados mixed in with ice cream is a very popular dessert.
  • The avocado is also called an Alligator Pear because of its pear-like shape and it’s bumpy green skin.
  • California produces about 90% of the nation’s avocado crop.
  • San Diego County is the Avocado Capital of the U.S., producing 60% of all the avocados grown in California.
  • There are about 7,000 avocado groves in California; the average size is around 10 acres.
  • A single California Avocado tree can produce about 500 avocados (or 200 pounds of fruit) a year, although the usual average is about 60 pounds from 150 avocados.
  • There are seven varieties of avocados grown commercially in California, but the Hass is the most popular, accounting for approximately 95% of the total crop volume.
  • The oldest living avocado tree is found on the University of California, Berkeley campus and was planted in 1879.
  • About 43% of all U.S. households buy avocados.
  • To tell if an avocado is really perfectly ripe, hold it in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze. Hard as a rock? Not ripe. Squishy? Overripe. Have as much give as chilled butter? Perfectly ripe.
  • Avocados are cholesterol and sodium-free.
  • Avocados have the highest fiber content of any fruit and contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, and folate.
  • Avocados will not ripen on the tree. They must be picked from the tree to initiate ripening. The leaves supply a      substance that prevents ripening. The best way to store avocados is to leave them on the tree; they will store for 7 months or more when left on the tree.

It’s time to be thinking avocados. Over 5% of all avocados are sold in the 2 weeks leading into the Super Bowl. That’s a lot of avocados! Keep in mind we also sell avocados at a discount in groups of three.

Shared with permission by Simcha Weinstein

The Varieties of Avocado available in the U.S.

We have several types of Avocados available throughout the year. The most common is the Haas grown in California. Here is a run down of the varieties you might see available ala carte or find in your Brown Box Organics Variety Box.

Bacon AvocadoBacon

A mid-winter green variety.

A green-skinned variety of good quality, the Bacon is a medium-sized fruit available late fall into spring.


    • Oval-shaped fruit
    • Medium to large seed
    • Easy peeling
    • Light taste

Fuerte AvocadoFuerte

An established favorite

Harvested late fall through spring, the Fuerte is the original high quality California Avocado.


    • Pear-shaped
    • Medium seed
    • Peels easily
    • Great taste


Haas Avocado 2Hass

The year-round avocado

Distinctive for its skin that turns from green to purplish-black when ripe, the Hass is the leading variety of California Avocado and has an excellent shelf life.


    • Oval-shaped fruit
    • Small to medium seed
    • Easy peeling
    • Great taste


Pinkerton AvocadoPinkerton

A premium winter variety

Pinkerton avocados have small seeds, yield more fruit per tree and are available in a full range of sizes early winter through spring.


    • Long, pear-shaped fruit
    • Small seed
    • Excellent peeling       characteristics
    • Great taste


Reed AvocadoReed

The summertime variety

A large, round fruit available in the summer months and early fall.


    • Round fruit
    • Medium seed
    • Easy peeling
    • Good taste

Zutano AvocadoZutano

A season opener

Easily recognized by its shiny, yellow-green skin, the Zutano is one of the first varieties harvested when the season begins in September and is available through early winter.


    • Pear-shaped fruit
    • Moderately easy to peel

Light taste

About Rachel

Owner @ Brown Box Organics.
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