Tuesday, January 28, 2014


I was first introduced to the Florida avocados at a small Farmer's Market in the beach area.  They were large, shiny and green. and I walked away from them.  The only problem was that the avocados were hard as rocks.  The farmer told me to take one home, wrap it in newspaper, and let it sit on the kitchen counter for a few days or until the avocado felt soft to the touch.

I asked the farmer if avocados grew in Northern Florida and was told that it was too cold.  The Florida avocado is grown commercially in Miami-Dade and Collier counties.  The trees are evergreen and may reach 30 to 60 feet, but not in my Back Forty. 

The avocado fruit tree is not grown from the seed but is grafted and grows best in sandy and limestone soils that let the water drain quickly.

The fruit is a berry with the large stone surrounded by a light greenish buttery pulp.  At maturity, the fruit may be green, black, purple or reddish depending on variety.  The Institute of Food and Agriculture Science (IFAS) of the University of Florida has extensive  information on avocados.

The avocado with the dark purplish and crinkly skin is known as the Haas avocado.  It is grown in California very much under the same warm conditions as the Florida avocado.  The Haas avocado is much smaller than the Florida avocado but it taste just as good. 

The Haas avocado may be grown in a barrel size container and some garden centers and nurseries may carry small trees for sale to home growers.  It takes about three (3) years for Haas to bear fruit when grown in containers.

To peel an avocado, cut lengthwise and break apart.  To remove the large seed, give it a good whack with a large and sharp knife and pull it out from the pulp.  On the other hand, scoop the stone out with a fork or a spoon.  After the avocado is halved, slice or dice the pulp while it is still in the shell and then scoop it out.

With this healthy monounsaturated fat pulp make a salsa by adding diced tomatoes, celery, and onions.  Leave it chunky or creamy.  Slice the avocado and add it to any sandwich.  It goes very well with just about any dish.

Unfortunately, this buttery pulp turns brownish after a short time so it is best consumed within a short time.  Eat and enjoy.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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