Avocados are this week’s Fresh Pick of the Week from the valley’s three Certified Farmers’ Markets. The first thing you need to know about Avocados when shopping at the Certified Farmers’ Markets (as opposed to the grocery store) is that all Avocados are NOT the same. The markets have a variety of delicious, locally-grown Avocados that all have very distinctive appearances, textures and flavors. Right now you can find at least four varieties (Bacon, Hass, Pinkerton and Zutano), but these change as different varieties come in and out of season.
Hass Avocados, the most common type of Avocados in California, and the most commonly available, are medium-sized Avocados with skin that is thick, purple to black, and pebbled. They have a rich nutty flavor and 19 percent oil. Zutano Avocados, on the other hand, are larger, more pear shaped, and covered with a shiny, mostly smooth, green skin. When ripe, you can actually peel a Zutano Avocado with a potato peeler. Their flavor is delicate and buttery. Bacon Avocados have a smooth green skin that is also thin enough to peel with a potato peeler. They are a medium sized Avocado with flesh that is yellow-green and has a light flavor. Pinkerton Avocados are also available at the markets right now. These large Avocados have green skin, a small seed and are easy to peel. Flavor-wise, Pinkerton Avocados have a smooth, creamy texture, rich flavor and a high oil content.
Did you know: Avocados are California’s State Fruit. They are also, technically, a berry, with one large seed.
Price: $1 to $2 each, or $5 a bag, depending on variety and size.