Bacon vs Hass Avocados
The co-op right now is flooded with Bacon Avocados. I hadn’t heard of them, but decided to give them a try because I have been craving guacamole, and I only eat avocados from California or Oregon. Bacon avocados are now in season, I highly recommend trying them.
Bacon avocados are oval-shaped and have smooth, thin skin that is dark green in color with faint speckles throughout. Their flesh is pale yellow-green, and it is less oily than Hass avocados, but equally as delicious, with a buttery and creamy texture. It also has a slight sweetness to it. The central pit in Bacon avocados is large, taking up a substantial amount of flesh in the fruit, and it has a tendency to make the seed cavity mold, making the fruit highly perishable when ripe. The avocados I got were perfect. Avocados are one of the few fruits that do not ripen on the tree, which allows growers to store mature avocados on the tree for several months and have greater control over the harvest volume. I like to give the avocados a slight press to see how ripe they are, you can also tell by how easily the stem comes off of the fruit.
I made fish tacos with the avocados and while my family and I were eating them we wondered why they were called “Bacon” avocados because they seemed to be less fatty than Hass and they weren’t salty and when we think bacon we think salt and fat. I did some research and found out that the Bacon avocado is a hybrid of two Mexican avocado varieties, and it was originally cultivated in 1954 by James Bacon (hence the name) in Buena Park, CA. Nearly all varieties of avocado trees can grow successfully in areas with mild winters. As a more cold resistant cultivar, hardy to twenty-five degrees, the Bacon avocado is also a popular variety in areas with lower winter temperatures and is said to be a good choice for avocado aficionados in USDA hardiness zones nine and ten. I’m tempted to plant a bacon avocado tree in Corvallis to see how well it will do. It is a minor commercial variety in California, thriving in areas such as San Francisco and California's Central Valley, and it does have some history of success in Florida as well.
Avocados contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, and folic acid. They are rich in dietary fiber, and are known for being a good source of monounsaturated fat, second only to olives among fruits in oil content. Avocados have earned the nickname “nutrient-boosters” because they can enable the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients of other foods served in combination with the avocado.
Although you may see avocados in stores all year round, it's important to know that California Avocados are not available all year round. Each year, California Hass Avocados are in season from spring through summer/early fall, with the bulk of the fruit staying in the Western United States. That’s why I was so excited to see Californian avocados back in season.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against Mexican avocados, but the main reason you won’t find the variety of avocados outside of local Mexican markets is that most of the lesser known varieties tend to spoil quickly once ripe and are not suitable for export. There is also a lot of talk about how the Mexican avocados are tainted by murders, extortion, and kidnapping by the drug cartels that noticed there was big money involved. Californian farms treat their workers better which is why I stick with them. But if you are going to visit Mexico I urge you to try as many different avocados as you can, each variety will bring something new to your dish.