Originally from Central America, Mexico and the low lands of Columbia in South America, avocados are most popular in summer, but really, they’re best in winter.
Australian avocados are grown in all parts of the country: Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania. The tree is a perennial so it will produce fruit for three seasons or more. We have two main varietals: the Hass, which is the most commonly grown and represents 80 percent of total production, and the Shepard.
The two avocados have quite distinct characteristics. Hass has a distinctive pebbly skin, which darkens as it ripens and the flesh has a creamy texture and taste. Shepard has a smooth skin, elongated shape, stays green while ripening and has a nutty flavour with a buttery taste.
Avocados are equally tasty, whether sweet or savoury, hard or soft, so they match well with:
- Coconut cream
- Green peas
- Tempura/beer batter
It’s also a great alternative to butter spreads.
- Green pea and avocado mash
- Chicken and avocado congee
- Avocado fritters with aioli dipping sauce
- Avocado bhaji with mint yoghurt
- Avocado and banana smoothies
- Avocado, coconut cream and palm sugar panna cotta
- Avocado condensed milk cheesecake
- Salt baked avocado with white miso and duck
Avocado is the only fruit that does not ripen on the tree; it starts the minute it is picked. If you require your avocado to ripen quickly then place it in with some ripe bananas as the ethylene gas emitted will help move the process along. Store in a cool dry place.
Look out for
Buy your avocados hard and ripen them at your own pace. They are great served rock hard and all the way through to soft and mushy. If you need your avocados delivered “ready to go” give your supplier plenty of notice to avoid disappointment.