Varieties of avocado are harvested in New Zealand at different times of the year making them available all year round. Varieties grown in New Zealand include Hass, Reed, Fuerte and Carmen. Hass avocados are oval in shape with skin that darkens as it ripens. Reed avocados are large and round, their skin stays green when it ripens. Fuerte avocados are pear shaped, with thin matte green skin that stays green when it ripens. Carmen avocados can produce two lots of fruit, one in Spring and one in Autumn. Spring Carmen look identical to Hass avocados and Autumn Carmen are larger, rounded and have smooth skin that darkens as it ripens.
Avocado is eaten as a vegetable but is actually a fruit. It is one of the few fruits to contain fat, the good kind – monounsaturated, that helps to lower blood cholesterol.
Avocados grow on evergreen trees up to 12 metres high. The fruit grows to about 10cm and ripens after it is picked. A single tree can produce up to 400 fruit each year!
Ripen avocados at room temperature then store in the refrigerator.
Avocados are usually eaten raw but can also be baked. They make great dressings, add a creamy element to salads and will elevate any basic breakfast.
Remove the skin and stone of an avocado before eating.