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Sunday, October 07, 2007 

Close to 500 varieties of avocados!

But, only 7 varieties are grown commercially in California. California is the leading producer of domestic avocados and home to about 90% of the nation's crop. Most California avocados are harvested on 60,000 acres between San Luis Obispo and the Mexican border, by about 6,800 growers. San Diego County, which produces 60% of all California avocados, is the acknowledged avocado capital of the nation. (Although, Santa Barbara County may disagree with that assessment...)

Did you know, the mother tree of all Hass avocados was born in a backyard in La Habra Heights, California.
In 2002, the tree to which every Hass avocado in the world can trace its lineage finally succumbed to root rot at the ripe old age of 76. Her offspring account for 95% of the avocados grown in California, and the fruit of her labor resulted in one of the state's most important industries. Yet, despite speculation to the contrary, nobody knows what variety of seed produced the original Hass Mother Tree.

The tree began life as lucky-find; a simple seed planted by A.R. Rideout of Whittier. Rideout, an innovator and pioneer in avocados, was always searching for new varieties and tended to plant whatever seeds he could find, often along streets or in neighbors' yards.

In the late 1920s, Mr. Rudolph Hass, a postman, purchased the seedling tree from Rideout, and planted it in his new orchard. He planned to graft another variety on it, but when repeated grafts didn't take he planned to cut the tree down. Fortunately for avocado lovers everywhere, Hass's children talked him out of it. They preferred the taste of the tree's fruit to that of the Fuerte, the predominant variety and industry standard in those days.
Hass maybe the most prominent, but my favorite has always been the Bacon. My stepdad had a tree growing next to the house and the 'cado's were always readily available for a quick bite.
This generally five-inch-long, egg-shaped avocado has a smooth, delicate, pine green skin mottled with dots that darken faintly when the fruit is ripe. Developed by a farmer named James Bacon in 1954, the fruit is harvested from the late fall through the spring, though some believe it peaks in midwinter. The bacon's pale, yellow-green flesh tastes slightly sweet, clean, and faintly sharp. - Saveur
California relys upon the quality of it's "alligator pear", and imports are taking a "bite" out it's business. Congress has taken note.
State regulations require that domestically grown avocados meet a minimum maturity standard, as well as predetermined size and weight requirements. Avocados grown abroad, most notably in Mexico, Chile, and the Dominican Republic, have not had to meet the same standards. The lack of uniform quality requirements may damage the demand for all avocados, claim the bills supporters.

...On April 26, Senator Barbara Boxer — along with congresswoman Lois Capps and Congressman Darrell Issa — presented the Quality Assurance Act in both the House and the Senate. The proposed bill is designed to protect the interest of the consumer, while facilitating fair competition among avocado growers both in California and abroad.

The bill would require all imported Hass Avocados meet the same quality standards as the avocados grown in California. - The Santa Barbara Independent

What to do with this creamy, delicious little green glob of goodness?

  1. Avocado Bread
  2. Gavocadoburger
  3. Beer Battered Fried Avocado Wedges
  4. Avocado and Shiitake Quesadilla
  5. Avocado Cake



  • I'm SantaBarbarian
  • From Santa Barbara, California, United States
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