All About Avocados


Reed Avocados:
The Summertime Variety

Reed avocado  

The Reed is a large, round fruit available in the summer months, making it good for foodservice and seasonal merchandising opportunities.


round in shape
medium sized seed
peels easily
good taste.


medium to large
ranges from 8 to 18 oz. (40 20 count)


thick green skin with slight pebbling
flesh is buttery

Ripe Characteristics:

skin remains green
fruit yields to gentle pressure when ripe

Handling Information:

good shelf life; stores well
ships well
responds to ethylene pre conditioning


Ripe For The Picking

California Avocado Fun Facts

Historical Happenings

Royal Beginnings:

The first avocado was eaten not in california but in Mexico by a Mayan princess about 291 B.C.

Global Oddities:

Archaeologists in Peru have reportedly found avocado seeds buried with mummies dating to 750 B.C.

The Aztecs used avocados as a sexual stimulant.

By Any Other Name:

Early Americans once called the avocado an alligator pear because they could not pronounce the Spanish word for avocado, "aguacate."

European Sailors making the passage to the Americas knew avocados as midshipman's butter because they liked to spice-up their shipboard provisions with a rich, guacamole-like substance.

Americans virtually ignored the food until enterprising 20th-Century marketers changed its name to avocado—a curious cross between avocat and abogado, the French and Spanish terms for lawyer.

Home Sweet Home

California Firsts:

California is the number-one producer of avocados and home to 95 percent of the nation's crop.

Most California avocados are harvested on 60,000 acres between San Luis Obispo and the Mexican border.

San Diego County is the nation's "avocado capital," alone producing 60 PERCENT of all California avocados.

The Los Angeles Basin is the world's largest market for California avocados. Other key consumption markets include San Antonio, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix and El Paso.

On The Table

American Uses:

The most common uses for California avocados in America are (1) guacamole and (2) avocado in salads.

Regional Dishes:

New Yorkers chop up California avocados with tomatoes for scallop ceviche.

Californians put them on pizza or cram them into pita bread with bean sprouts and cheese.

Texans, Arizonians and New Mexicans add them to fajitas, carnitas, tortas and quesadillas.


Citrus Salad with California Avocados



  • 3 6" corn tortillas
  • 4 oranges
  • 4 grapefruits
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 1 California avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 6 sprigs fresh mint for garnish (optional)

Slice corn tortillas into very thin strips. Dry the strips by placing on a cookie sheet and baking in a preheated 225 degree F oven for approximately 15 minutes. Set aside.

Grate the oranges to obtain approximately 2 teaspoons of orange rind for each serving. Set aside. Peel oranges and grapefruits, section and seed. Set sections aside.

In a large bowl, mix honey, raspberry vinegar, orange and grapefruit sections. Add orange rinds and tortilla strips. Toss all ingredients gently. Top with avocado slices and a sprig of fresh mint for garnish. Serves six.

Per serving: 200 calories, 4g protein, 40g carbohydrates, 5g total fat, 6g dietary fiber. 0mg cholesterol, 22mg sodium


Provided by the California Avocado Commission

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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