California Hass Avocado Season Ending
The Hass avocado season is coming to an end much earlier than usual in most regions in California. In the last two years we have seen the California avocado season extending into September/October. This year we experienced a smaller crop in volume in part because it was an alternate bearing year. Combined with the drought and lack of water for irrigation, the California avocado supply was sparse. Avocados are heavy water users and can require up to 300 gallons a week in hotter weather. When they don’t receive the necessary amount of water the fruit will not size up. We saw the evidence of this in an abundance of smaller sized fruit.
At the end of the season we can see avocados from Northern California, think L.A. up to Santa Cruz, and Southern California, think Riverside and San Diego County to the Mexican border, all mixed in together in an avocado display. Avocados from Southern California have been on the tree for a longer time and are more mature, meaning they ripen quicker, have a higher oil content and should be eaten firm. The flavor is outstanding this time of year but don’t wait until they are too soft or they will be rancid. A sign of a very mature avocado with a high oil content is when the green/yellow flesh turns to a duller, almost mustard color. The Northern California season starts later so the fruit has been on the tree a shorter period of time and should be eaten riper with a little give. The problem is that you don’t know where your avocado is coming from most of the time. The level of maturity depends part in how long it has been on the tree, what region it is from in California and where in the season we are. Having avocados from 2 regions, means that we have 2 seasons and 2 levels of maturity overlapping in the same display.To confuse things even more we will soon see some overlap with Mexican avocados so it is best to start a discussion with your produce person about where their avocados are from.
Storage and Eating Tips:
*Store at a moderate temperature of 45-55 degrees. Putting avocados in the coldest part of your refrigerator will “burn them”.
*Black spots that appear in the flesh are caused by storage in cold temperatures so make sure to take the avocado out of the refrigerator to finish ripening.
*Eat firmer than usual and experiment with the ripening time.
We can look forward to the California season starting up again in February out of San Diego. Follow our social media pages for produce updates.