Pick of the Week - Creamy Hass Avocados
The most popular of all the California-grown avocado varieties is now available. Today, the most popular variety is the Hass. The mother tree of all Hass Avocados was born in a backyard in La Habra Heights, California. Today, California is the leading producer of domestic avocados and home to about 90 percent of the nation's crop. Most California Avocados are harvested on approximately 52,000 acres from San Luis Obispo through San Diego by nearly 5,000 growers. San Diego County, which produces 60 percent of all California Avocados, is the acknowledged avocado capital of the nation.
Did You Know?
- An avocado is a fruit, not a vegetable! It is actually a member of the berry family.
- Brazilians add avocados to ice cream.
- Filipinos purée avocados with sugar and milk for a dessert drink.
- The avocado is also called an Alligator Pear because of its pear-like shape and green skin.
- California produces about 90% of the nation's avocado crop.
- There are nearly 5,000 avocado growers in California; the average grove size is around 10 acres.
- A single California Avocado tree can produce about 500 avocados (or 200 pounds of fruit) a year although usually average about 60 pounds from 150 fruit.
- There are seven varieties of avocados grown commercially in California, but the Hass is the most popular, accounting for approximately 95 percent of the total crop volume.
Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. They also act as a "nutrient booster" by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit.
How to Ripen an Avocado
- The best way to tell if an avocado is ripe and ready for immediate use is to gently squeeze the fruit in the palm of your hand. Ripe, ready-to-eat fruit will be firm yet will yield to gentle pressure
- The Hass avocado will turn dark green or black as it ripens, but some other avocado varieties retain their light-green skin even when ripe.
- If you plan to serve the fruit in a few days, purchase unripened fruit and review our section on how to ripen avocados.
- Avoid fruit with dark blemishes on the skin or over-soft fruit.