The Different Types of Avocados
Avocados inspire a zealous dedication among fans unlike that of any other fruit. As an avocado-lover, did you know that there are more than 500 varieties?
Avocados inspire a rather zealous dedication among fans unlike that of any other fruit. Let’s face it, those who love them, really love them and can’t get enough of their creamy, more-ish-ness.
If you are part of the avocado fan club, you probably already know about at least two varieties of avocado found in New Zealand. But did you know that there are, in fact, more than 500 different avocado types in existence?
While trying them all seems like a worthy bucket-list item to us, most of them are rather hard to track down. In fact, only five are readily available in New Zealand.
But five is a good start, right?
With peak avocado season upon us, let’s learn all about the different avocado varieties.
Let’s Get Botanical!
Okay, for those of you who don’t know too much about the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees… we are going to take a moment to dive into the reproductive life of avocados.
Avocados are self-fertile, which means a single tree has both male and female flowers.
You will find type A avos - such as Hass and Reed - and type B, like Fuerte. To cut a long story short, the female flowers on type As open for 2-3 hours in the morning then shut up shop. Male flowers open in the afternoon of the next day. In type Bs, the females open in the afternoon, and the males the following morning.
The flowers are pollinated and the tree is then able to produce the fruit we covet.
Weather changes can make the opening of the flowers erratic, making it harder for them to be fertilised and produce fruit. If you are hoping to grow your own avos at home, the experts recommend planting a mixture of type A and type B plants to increase the chances of pollination.
Avocados In NZ
According to the NZ Avocado Board, our modest nation produced 31,424 tonnes of avocados in the 2018-2019 season. Nearly 3 million trays were exported, and around 2.2 million trays were sold nationally.
In New Zealand, you can find Hass, Reed, Fuerte, Maluma and Carmen avocados.
Hass avocados are the only variety that can be exported, so naturally, they account for around 95 percent of all avocados planted in NZ.
These are your garden-variety avocado that you are probably most familiar with. They are pear or oval-shaped, with thick, pebbled skin that turns from green to purplish-brown/black when ripe.
Reed avocados are the second-most popular variety in the country. They are large, round and don’t change colour when ripe. Their flavour is more subtle.
Fuerte also remain green. However, they are pear-shaped with smooth skin. These used to be super popular in the US before Hass came along. They have a slightly oily texture.
Maluma and Carmen do change colour. Interestingly, Carmen produce two different kinds of fruit in autumn and spring, each with different characteristics.
Although each type of avocado has slight variations in texture and flavour, they are all very similar nutritionally. Some are watery, others creamy, some are nutty, others buttery. Regardless, all are packed full of healthy fats and make a great addition to breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks!
Awesome Avo Recipes
If you just can’t get enough of avocados, try some of these delicious recipes…
Need your avocado fix now? Then head on over to the store to shop the in season collection!