Meet the California Avocado.
Avocado. AKA the Alligator Pear (because of her pear shape and green skin), but you probably know her better as…
Or, that green buttery fruit that thickens your smoothie.
Avocados, are so dang versatile, not only are they delicious to eat, but did you know that they can also be used as a butter substitute or a skin and hair moisturizer? Once a luxury food reserved for only royalty, avocados are now celebrated and devoured on the daily by everyone, including your momma.
When I lived on the East coast, I grew up eating those giant, 2-pound, big-as-your-face avocados with the smooth, bright green skin. They were HUGE. One avocado alone would feed the whole family, and there would still be some leftover. I believe they were called Choquette’s, and they tended to be less buttery, and more mild in flavor than your typical Hass Avocado variety. Think, big, smooth, mild taste — like “avocado rainwater”.
When I later moved to California, I met the Hass avocado for the first time. You know these ones, they are smaller, dark green and have wart-like bumpy skin. I loved that they were the perfect size for eating in one sitting. I didn’t have to save anything for later. All for me, none for you.
Speaking of later, like waaay later, eleven years living in California later, I find out that there is an avocado festival that celebrates this little green wonder. The city of Fallbook in California is home to the family-friendly, annual Fallbrook, Avocado Festival. There you can see a sampling of all the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of varieties of avocados produced in the world. You can sample various avocado dishes like fried tempura avocado and avocado ice cream (so yum!) and also partake in avocado-themed contests and family friendly activities.
Watch the video and the rest of the series on Tastemade here.
For the California avocado, It’s all about the location. The soil is rich, the sun shines year round, the climate is temperate. The avocado species arrived in California in 1856, and today, orchards near San Diego, LA and Santa Barbara produce almost 90% of avocados in the U.S.
Here are some other Avocado Facts I bet you didn’t know:
- San Diego County is the Avocado Capital of the U.S.,producing 40 percent of all the avocados grown in California
- There are nearly 4,000 avocado growers in California
- A single California Avocado tree can produce about 500 avocados (or 200 pounds of fruit) a year
- There are hundreds of avocado varieties. Seven of them are grown commercially in California
- Hass is the most popular in the California region, accounting for approximately 95 percent of the total crop volume
- Avocado’s are not picked off the tree. Since they ripen after harvest, the growers must cut them off the branch gently
- The popular Hass is high-fat flesh, a nutty taste, and have an almond butter texture
- The avocado is also a Super Food which serves as a “nutrient booster,” helping to increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, K and E
- Avocados are virtually the only fruit that contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fat – good fat!
- There is more potassium in an avocado than in a banana
Watch the entire Quest for the Fest series on Tastemade