Blog powered by TypePad
Member since 02/2010

You can find 1000+ of my kitchen-tested recipes using the Recipes tab, watch nearly 100 of my Kitchen Encounters/WHVL-TV segments using the TV Videos tab, join the discussion about all of my creations using the Facebook tab, or Email your questions and comments directly to me--none go unanswered. Have fun!


~ Everything You Need to Know About the Avocado ~

PICT4940Next to the tomato, meet my favorite fruit:  the Hass avocado!

The most popular avocado is the California Hass, which rhymes with "pass" (which is frequently mispronounced and mispelled "Haas").  This pear-shaped fruit weighs in at about half a pound and has bumpy, rough, dark greenish-black skin (it was known early on as an alligator pear).  It is known for its silky, rich, buttery texture and mild, nutlike flavor.  It is the only avocado variety to be grown year-round, represents about 80% of all avocados sold in the world and generates more than $1 billion in revenues in the US each year.  Trust me when I tell you, after a taste test between the Hass and any other smooth-skinned variety (like Florida's leafy-green Fuerte, pictured above), you will agree there is no comparison in either flavor or texture:  Hass wins... and this tree, a member of the laurel family, has a bitter-sweet history to go with it too:

220px-Persea_americana_fruit_2All Hass avocado trees descended from one single "mother tree" that was raised by a mail carrier named Rudolf Hass, of LaHabra Heights, CA.  Hass purchased the seedling tree from a grower named A.R. Rideout, who grew and experimented growing and developing many varieties of avocados.  Hass tried unsuccessfully to graft another variety onto it and planned on cutting the tree down, until his children talked him out of it.  Since his kids loved the tree's fruit, and the tree gave a good yield, he named it after himself and patented it in 1935.  That same year, Hass entered into a business with a Whittier, CA, nurseryman to grow and promote his avocados. Rudolf Hass died in 1952, never realizing the global impact his avocados would have on all of us.

Sadly, Hass's original tree died after a long struggle with root fungus and was cut down in 2002.

PICT4946Avocados ripen best after picking. A perfectly-ripe Hass avocado will be darkish green (it will have lost its bright green color) and firm to the touch with an ever-so-slight give when gentle pressure is applied.  If an avocado seems even the slightest bit soft, it is over-ripe. When a knife is run through and around the perimeter of a perfectly ripe avocado, it will literally cut like butter and the two halves will separate cleanly with a gentle twist.

PICT4962Note:  If you have no alternative but to purchase under-ripe (hard) avocados:  to speed up the ripening process, place them in a paper bag and set aside, at room temperature, for 1-2 days. Most times, overnight on the countertop will do just fine. To increase the shelf life of ripe avocados, store in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.  

PICT4974But, and this is an important but: Once an avocado is opened and the edible flesh is exposed to air, it discolors rapidly.  To minimize discolorization, I advise adding diced, cubed or sliced avocado to the dish being served at the very last moment.  Tossing cubed, sliced, mashed or smashed avocado flesh with citric acid, like lime or lemon juice (and zest too), helps delay discoloring, but not much more than an hour or two (trust me).

PICT4952The pit (which in reality is a seed that can be planted to grow an avocado tree and is another blog post) is cleanly and easily removed by holding the pitted half of the avocado securely in the palm of your hand.  Using a chef's knife, give the pit a somewhat forceful tap with the center of the knife blade. Then, one gentle twist of the knife and voila:  the pit is out.  Proceed to:

Peel away the skin and slice or dice in any manner you want!

PICT4954To quickly cube or slice the pitted/seeded avocado, for applications like adding to salads:  

PICT4971Simply score the soft flesh into desired-sized cubes or slices, then scoop them out with an ordinary tablespoon.  

When planning to mash or smash the edible flesh (for dishes like guacamole), skip cubing the avocado and simply scoop the flesh out in very large pieces.  If not using immediately, remember to toss with lime juice!  

Avocado Fiction:

Burying the avocado pit in your guacamole will keep the dip from discoloring.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  BYI:  Some information should be banned from the internet!

PICT5031In order to keep color in my guacamole for an extra 24 hours, I add a few tablespoons of bottled green chile sauce (salsa verde).  It adds a bit of heat too!  You can find my recipe for ~ Holy Guacamole! It's the Second Day of Summer ~ in Categories 1, 4, 8, 10, 13 & 14!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, commentary and photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2013)


Maria! This is great information to know. Thanks for sharing it with me and my readers. I did not know that and I will pass it along to everyone! ~ Mel.

Great post - Melanie....
The other "fiction" about the Avocado I recently read on FB...
"Avocados can be frozen and when one thaws them they come out as a beautiful ripe fruit...."
FALSE - I tried it and it is much when you thaw it...and it discolors instantly....

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment