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Fuerte Avocado

Avocados were discovered in America when Cortez landed in the 16th century, although they originated in south-central Mexico sometime between 7,000 and 5,000 B.C.  In the early 1900’s avocados began being grown commercially and by the 1950’s there were at least 25 different varieties being grown in California.  The Fuerte was number one and built the avocado industry, accounting for more than two-thirds of the California avocado production.

The Fuerte is a cross between the native Mexican and Guatemalan species and means strong in Spanish because it can withstand temperatures as low as 26 degrees Fahrenheit.  The medium sized pear shaped fruit is easy to peel and has smooth green skin that stays green after ripening.  The flesh is a creamy pale green with a light smooth taste that compliments any salad.

So why is it that the Hass avocado is everywhere and we don’t see the Fuerte very often anymore?  Although the Hass variety was discovered in the early 1930’s by a postman from Pasadena it had a very undesirable look with its thick bumpy skin that turned almost black when ripe.  In the 1970’s large scale production, transportation and marketing efforts convinced the consumer how delicious the Hass was with its high oil content.  Now the Hass makes up 80% of all avocados consumed in the entire world.

Today, California is the leading producer of domestic avocados and home to about 90 percent of the nation’s crop. Most California Avocados are harvested on approximately 52,000 acres from San Luis Obispo through San Diego by nearly 5,000 growers. San Diego County, which produces 60 percent of all California Avocados, is the acknowledged avocado capital of the nation.  (The California Avocado Commission CAC)

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