Our property is a working avocado farm, with over 600 mature trees. Who knew there were so many varieties of avocados and that some are labeled type A and B trees?
Here's a closer look at some of the more common avocado varieties that we grow on our farm and are likely to end up in your kitchens, along with some lesser-known types with surprising properties:
Most people are familiar with Hass avocados, because it is one of the most delicious varieties around, with a rich creamy flesh and superior taste. Hass avocados make up 95% of all the avocados eaten in the USA but you may be surprised to learn that the humble Hass is one of the newest varieties of avocado and didn’t even exist before the 1920’s.
Mexicola Grande Avocado:
Similar to its parent variety, the Mexicola avocado, with its paper-thin, glossy black skin that is easy to peel and has an anise-like flavor. It has a high oil content relative to other types of avocado, which gives it a buttery taste. But what really sets this avocado apart is the fact that you can eat its skin. Its leaves are also edible and are used as flavoring in some Mexican dishes.
If you like flavorful avocados, you will love the Fuerte. A large Fuerte can weigh up to a pound, but usually they are 8 to 12 oz. in size. Fuertes look like elongated pears, and the skin is a beautiful grass-green with some darker speckles mixed in. The fruit itself is pale yellow with a smooth, creamy texture. Fuertes are less oily that other avocados, but the flavor is very rich and nutty. Earlier in December they won’t have as much flavor as later on in January or February, as the fruit matures.
The Zutano Avocado is similar to the Fuerte avocado with its pear shape and thin, glossy green- yellowish skin. It remains green even when ripe. It has low oil content but packs a pungent avocado taste (with the addition of a lighter, almost lemony top note) and a lighter, silkier texture than the creamy Hass. The Zutano variety is not for everybody. It is hard to peel and has a light, subtle taste profile. For people used to the rich nutty taste of Hass or other varieties might be underwhelmed. However, if you always felt the usual avocado taste was a bit too much, then the Zutano might be your new favorite variety.
Bacons have thinner skin and are considered one of the “green skin” avocados. They’re ripe when they just “give” when gently pressed in the palm of your hand. They do not turn black when they’re ripe, so it’s important to actually touch the fruit to check if they’re softening. Avocados are very hard when they are first picked from the tree, and it takes a week or more to soften up so they can be eaten.
So are you disappointed that you can’t get Fuertes or the other varieties of avocados in stores? If you are a person who really loves avocados, you owe it to yourself to try our avocados! Some of these are often found in Farmers Markets in southern California, but the ones I’ve seen in the markets have been very small. So, if you are in the area of Riverside, CA—and we have them available and in season, message us on what you would like and we can pick them right off the tree for you.