Avocados. What a pain.

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Victor Hong
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Avocados. What a pain.

#1 Post by Victor Hong » September 7th, 2019, 3:54 pm

Buying them has become so difficult. Even when they are Hass avocados, labeled as from Mexico, their quality seems to have degraded. They change suddenly from green rocks into dark, spongy, cratered forms. Cutting one reveals both yellow, unripe flesh and black, fibrous goo.

Perhaps, those awful ones from Peru are being labeled wrongly as from Mexico. What is happening? [scratch.gif]
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#2 Post by David Wright » September 7th, 2019, 8:00 pm

I've had good luck lately with California avocados (Hass) from Costco. They come in a 5-pack, but keep reasonably well in the fridge.

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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#3 Post by Craig G » September 7th, 2019, 8:33 pm

Isn’t there a blind link for this?
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#4 Post by Chris Blum » September 7th, 2019, 10:00 pm

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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#5 Post by Paul Jaouen » September 8th, 2019, 8:55 am

Craig G wrote:
September 7th, 2019, 8:33 pm
Isn’t there a blind link for this?
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#6 Post by Alex N » September 8th, 2019, 9:32 am

Where do you live? I get mine from orchards in Santa Barbara County and Ojai and they are amazing. I keep green rocks in the fridge until I need more, then take them out to ripen. I'll do the opposite if I have too many ripe ones. The fridge slows everything down.
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#7 Post by Scott G r u n e r » September 8th, 2019, 10:32 am

I have seen this some. More common for me is buying underripe peaches or nectarines and seeing them turn directly from rocks to rot
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#8 Post by Sherri S h a p i r o » September 8th, 2019, 2:13 pm

Craig G wrote:
September 7th, 2019, 8:33 pm
Isn’t there a blind link for this?
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#9 Post by Brent C l a y t o n » September 8th, 2019, 3:46 pm

Victor,

You don't have an avocado tree in your rooftop garden?
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#10 Post by Victor Hong » September 8th, 2019, 4:16 pm

No.
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#11 Post by Brandon R » September 9th, 2019, 9:54 am

I have found that the key is to buy them green and allow them to soften up / "ripen" at home. If they're anywhere near ripe in the store, they get beat to hell. The bruises manifest themselves as that black goo in no time, even if other parts still aren't ripe. Plan ahead and buy 'em green!
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#12 Post by Victor Hong » September 9th, 2019, 10:14 am

Brandon R wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 9:54 am
I have found that the key is to buy them green and allow them to soften up / "ripen" at home. If they're anywhere near ripe in the store, they get beat to hell. The bruises manifest themselves as that black goo in no time, even if other parts still aren't ripe. Plan ahead and buy 'em green!
Same here. But they went from green rock to black goo, without any good stage inter alia.
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#13 Post by Brandon R » September 9th, 2019, 11:15 am

I grew up in the tree fruit business in Central Washington. When it comes to soft fruit (peaches, nectarines), the phenomenon of having a hard piece of fruit that passes right by the "ripe" stage to being rotten (or shriveling, etc.) is a consequence of the grower simply picking too soon. When a fruit fails to achieve a certain point of maturity, it'll never "ripen," no matter what you do. I presume that's exactly the case with avocados. The difficulty is that it's more difficult to tell, visually, when a green avocado is mature enough or was picked too soon. It's easier with fruit like peaches and nectarines.

I don't overly fault the farmers, either, because it's most often the grocery outlet that is dictating harvest date. It's also difficult to find that sweet spot when fruit is mature enough yet still firm enough to ship. There is truly nothing like a peach or nectarine that is allowed to hang on the tree until full ripeness. I've been told a tree-ripe avocado is an amazing thing too. Unfortunately, in an era of shipping food globally, that's often not possible in large grocery chains.
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#14 Post by Jay $$ Winton » September 9th, 2019, 11:38 am

Safeway used to be a reliable source for ripe avocados but I've returned several lately from different stores. I agree that's it's best to ripen them at home but sometimes you gotta have some guac.
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#15 Post by Alex N » September 10th, 2019, 8:15 am

Victor Hong wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 10:14 am
Brandon R wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 9:54 am
I have found that the key is to buy them green and allow them to soften up / "ripen" at home. If they're anywhere near ripe in the store, they get beat to hell. The bruises manifest themselves as that black goo in no time, even if other parts still aren't ripe. Plan ahead and buy 'em green!
Same here. But they went from green rock to black goo, without any good stage inter alia.
Are you storing them near other fruit like bananas? Some fruits emit gasses that do speed up the ripening process. Store avos alone to let them naturally ripen.
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#16 Post by Alan Rath » September 10th, 2019, 8:48 am

Brandon R wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 11:15 am
I grew up in the tree fruit business in Central Washington. When it comes to soft fruit (peaches, nectarines), the phenomenon of having a hard piece of fruit that passes right by the "ripe" stage to being rotten (or shriveling, etc.) is a consequence of the grower simply picking too soon. When a fruit fails to achieve a certain point of maturity, it'll never "ripen," no matter what you do. I presume that's exactly the case with avocados. The difficulty is that it's more difficult to tell, visually, when a green avocado is mature enough or was picked too soon. It's easier with fruit like peaches and nectarines.

I don't overly fault the farmers, either, because it's most often the grocery outlet that is dictating harvest date. It's also difficult to find that sweet spot when fruit is mature enough yet still firm enough to ship. There is truly nothing like a peach or nectarine that is allowed to hang on the tree until full ripeness. I've been told a tree-ripe avocado is an amazing thing too. Unfortunately, in an era of shipping food globally, that's often not possible in large grocery chains.
Your first paragraph is what I've always assumed, thanks. I've eaten lots of avos straight from the tree (or within a few days). I'd say it's about even likelihood that one off a local tree is great is not much different than store-bought from a reliable source (or better, from growers at a farmers market). There's a tree on our block that we get avos from most years, but these are a different, much more "buttery" variety.
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#17 Post by todd waldmann » September 10th, 2019, 9:16 am

I can't believe Victor even buys/eats avocados. They require a TON of water to farm. Eating them pretty seriously undermines his holier-than-thou stance and makes it even more difficult to listen to the constant "tsk, tsk, tsk" coming from his keyboard.

Victor, how do you even sleep at night?
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#18 Post by Chris Foley » September 10th, 2019, 9:33 am

Alex N wrote:
September 10th, 2019, 8:15 am

Are you storing them near other fruit like bananas? Some fruits emit gasses that do speed up the ripening process. Store avos alone to let them naturally ripen.
Especially in the wintertime I put them in a bag with a couple bananas so they will ripen within a couple days. If they take much longer to ripen they go bad more often.
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#19 Post by Dustin Buchko » September 10th, 2019, 10:19 am

todd waldmann wrote:
September 10th, 2019, 9:16 am
They require a TON of water to farm.
Can confirm, I am watering my avocados about 15 gallons a day during the summer and they are only juvenile trees. I expect them to need 2-3 times that much at maturity. Have not tracked how much that is per avocado but there are reports it is around 60 gallons per fruit.

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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#20 Post by Victor Hong » September 10th, 2019, 10:48 am

todd waldmann wrote:
September 10th, 2019, 9:16 am
I can't believe Victor even buys/eats avocados. They require a TON of water to farm. Eating them pretty seriously undermines his holier-than-thou stance and makes it even more difficult to listen to the constant "tsk, tsk, tsk" coming from his keyboard.

Victor, how do you even sleep at night?
Yes, my sleep is down to three fours nightly. And avocado production impacts ever-dwindling monarch butterflies. The few butterflies which we saw recently on Block Island and Martha's Vineyard were poignant.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/18/worl ... -home.html

For that reason, our household has curtailed avocado consumption, previously buying maybe three or four per month. Less now, given my original post.
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#21 Post by todd waldmann » September 10th, 2019, 11:00 am

Thank God! Now, I will rest easier knowing that you are in a better position to look down your nose at the rest of us.
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#22 Post by Joe W i n o g r a d » September 10th, 2019, 11:29 am

Brandon R wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 11:15 am
I grew up in the tree fruit business in Central Washington. When it comes to soft fruit (peaches, nectarines), the phenomenon of having a hard piece of fruit that passes right by the "ripe" stage to being rotten (or shriveling, etc.) is a consequence of the grower simply picking too soon. When a fruit fails to achieve a certain point of maturity, it'll never "ripen," no matter what you do. I presume that's exactly the case with avocados. The difficulty is that it's more difficult to tell, visually, when a green avocado is mature enough or was picked too soon. It's easier with fruit like peaches and nectarines.

I don't overly fault the farmers, either, because it's most often the grocery outlet that is dictating harvest date. It's also difficult to find that sweet spot when fruit is mature enough yet still firm enough to ship. There is truly nothing like a peach or nectarine that is allowed to hang on the tree until full ripeness. I've been told a tree-ripe avocado is an amazing thing too. Unfortunately, in an era of shipping food globally, that's often not possible in large grocery chains.
This logic actually doesn’t apply to avocados, which behave quite differently from stone fruit.

Stone fruit will mature then ripen on the tree. In order to make the trip from orchard to consumer without becoming overripe, the fruit must be picked immature or selected for long cycle from maturity to ripening (which sacrifices flavor and texture).

Avocados, on the other hand, can mature fully on the tree and can hang on the tree indefinitely. (The longer they hang in the tree, the more the oils develop which makes long hang times desireable, disadvantaging commercial avos over home grown.) They don’t start the transition to ripening until after they are picked, and the ripening process (without intervention) will take 1-2 weeks.

This leaves lots of flexibility in choosing time of avocado harvest (any time after maturity is reached is ok) and leaves quite a bit of time for shipping and sale after harvest without overripening.

This has a lot to do with why you can get high quality avocados for such a long season.

I don’t know how to help Victor other than to say he should consider moving closer to the source.

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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#23 Post by Michae1 P0wers » September 11th, 2019, 11:11 am

I wonder to what extent the avocado shortage that was widely reported earlier this summer (and resulting high prices) have caused this phenomenon. Avocados were $1.50 - $2 each almost everywhere early this summer. Now I'm seeing $.60 per. Seems some aspect of production or picking may have been rushed to meet demand.

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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#24 Post by c fu » September 11th, 2019, 11:15 am

Alan Rath wrote:
September 10th, 2019, 8:48 am
Brandon R wrote:
September 9th, 2019, 11:15 am
I grew up in the tree fruit business in Central Washington. When it comes to soft fruit (peaches, nectarines), the phenomenon of having a hard piece of fruit that passes right by the "ripe" stage to being rotten (or shriveling, etc.) is a consequence of the grower simply picking too soon. When a fruit fails to achieve a certain point of maturity, it'll never "ripen," no matter what you do. I presume that's exactly the case with avocados. The difficulty is that it's more difficult to tell, visually, when a green avocado is mature enough or was picked too soon. It's easier with fruit like peaches and nectarines.

I don't overly fault the farmers, either, because it's most often the grocery outlet that is dictating harvest date. It's also difficult to find that sweet spot when fruit is mature enough yet still firm enough to ship. There is truly nothing like a peach or nectarine that is allowed to hang on the tree until full ripeness. I've been told a tree-ripe avocado is an amazing thing too. Unfortunately, in an era of shipping food globally, that's often not possible in large grocery chains.
Your first paragraph is what I've always assumed, thanks. I've eaten lots of avos straight from the tree (or within a few days). I'd say it's about even likelihood that one off a local tree is great is not much different than store-bought from a reliable source (or better, from growers at a farmers market). There's a tree on our block that we get avos from most years, but these are a different, much more "buttery" variety.
It's prob cause the ones at the store are almost always Haas avocados. But the ones people plant in their backyards are rarely Haas. Lots of Reed and Bacon avocado trees in CA.
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#25 Post by Alex N » September 11th, 2019, 11:34 am

Maybe you can order them online and give it a try, but you'll pay a premium for packaging and shipping. Carpinteria, CA avocados are amazing.
This avo in today's lunch was bought last Tuesday and has been in the fridge the entire time. It was probably only a few days from starting to cave in, so good timing I suppose.
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#26 Post by Alan Rath » September 11th, 2019, 12:36 pm

c fu wrote:
September 11th, 2019, 11:15 am
It's prob cause the ones at the store are almost always Haas avocados. But the ones people plant in their backyards are rarely Haas. Lots of Reed and Bacon avocado trees in CA.
Might be Reed, not sure. They are very good, but not the depth of flavor, or the more solid texture of Haas. But free makes them taste a lot better!
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#27 Post by Joe W i n o g r a d » September 11th, 2019, 12:45 pm

Reed are the most easily identified of all avocados; sized and shaped like a grapefruit. The trees are columnar and spindly and can be very tall, like a sickly pine.

In my opinion they are the best tasting variety by a mile. I have only ever seen them in SoCal. If you are going to order avos by mail, this is the one to get.

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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#28 Post by David Wright » September 11th, 2019, 12:53 pm

The Hass avocado hails from La Habra Heights
We owe this culinary gift to the tinkering of a mailman named Rudolph Hass. Rudolph grew interested in the thick-skinned fruit after he saw a magazine ad with dollar bills growing on an avocado tree. He began purchasing seeds with the hope of launching a side gig, and grafted out the initial sprouts to multiply his crop.

A Ventura County Star profile of Rudolph’s ancestors recalls that “one stubborn baby tree, grown from a Guatemalan seed of unknown parentage, wouldn’t accept a graft,” so Rudolph set it aside as an experiment. When that tree first bore fruit Rudolph was delighted with the results; his avocados were far more creamy and flavorful than the Fuerte variety that were prevalent at the time. He filed a patent on this “Hass Avocado” (the first patent on a tree!) and arranged with a local grower named Harold Brokaw to bring his discovery to market.
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#29 Post by Alan Rath » September 11th, 2019, 1:06 pm

Joe W i n o g r a d wrote:
September 11th, 2019, 12:45 pm
Reed are the most easily identified of all avocados; sized and shaped like a grapefruit. The trees are columnar and spindly and can be very tall, like a sickly pine.

In my opinion they are the best tasting variety by a mile. I have only ever seen them in SoCal. If you are going to order avos by mail, this is the one to get.
Thanks Joe. Then these aren't Reed. The tree is quite broad and spread out. Pretty sure they were more oval/pear shaped, not round-ish. Fairly thin, smooth skin, not particularly dark when ripe, very buttery texture and flavor.
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#30 Post by Joe W i n o g r a d » September 11th, 2019, 1:16 pm

Dunno. There are dozens upon dozens of varieties.... fruit shape, size, skin color, leaf shape and tree shape are all used in the identification.

See http://www.ucavo.ucr.edu/AvocadoVarieti ... eties.html

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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#31 Post by Alex N » September 11th, 2019, 4:01 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
September 11th, 2019, 1:06 pm
Joe W i n o g r a d wrote:
September 11th, 2019, 12:45 pm
Reed are the most easily identified of all avocados; sized and shaped like a grapefruit. The trees are columnar and spindly and can be very tall, like a sickly pine.

In my opinion they are the best tasting variety by a mile. I have only ever seen them in SoCal. If you are going to order avos by mail, this is the one to get.
Thanks Joe. Then these aren't Reed. The tree is quite broad and spread out. Pretty sure they were more oval/pear shaped, not round-ish. Fairly thin, smooth skin, not particularly dark when ripe, very buttery texture and flavor.
Tree shape can be created by how they prune it. Based on above (smooth skin not dark when ripe, buttery etc) it sounds like a bacon avocado.
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#32 Post by GregT » September 14th, 2019, 3:34 pm

Joe - the Reeds also have a pretty short season though, don't they? There was a lady at the farmer's market I used to go to in SD who was like fourth generation farmer and she had all kinds of great avocados and citrus. She could call to the day when an avocado would be ripe and she gave me my first ever Reed and Fuerte. But she said the Haas is the most commercially viable.

Now I just get them at the market but I buy them rock hard and just before I think they should be ready, they seem to be perfect. If I let them get to what I would think is ready, they're often starting to bruise.

Here's a link to the types grown in CA, although there are many more than these.

https://www.californiaavocado.com/avoca ... -varieties
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#33 Post by Joe W i n o g r a d » September 14th, 2019, 7:40 pm

I don’t know, Greg. I was buying Reeds at my local farmers market whenever they were available until about about a decade ago, when I moved into a house with mature trees (not sure what variety; maybe zutano) to the tune of 500 avos per year so I’m not buying so much anymore. I planted a reed but it didn’t look good so we took it out before it began producing. .

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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#34 Post by Peter Petersen » September 21st, 2019, 8:11 am

Alan Rath wrote:
September 11th, 2019, 1:06 pm
Joe W i n o g r a d wrote:
September 11th, 2019, 12:45 pm
Reed are the most easily identified of all avocados; sized and shaped like a grapefruit. The trees are columnar and spindly and can be very tall, like a sickly pine.

In my opinion they are the best tasting variety by a mile. I have only ever seen them in SoCal. If you are going to order avos by mail, this is the one to get.
Thanks Joe. Then these aren't Reed. The tree is quite broad and spread out. Pretty sure they were more oval/pear shaped, not round-ish. Fairly thin, smooth skin, not particularly dark when ripe, very buttery texture and flavor.
That sounds like Fuerte avocados.

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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#35 Post by Anton D » September 26th, 2019, 10:57 am

todd waldmann wrote:
September 10th, 2019, 9:16 am
I can't believe Victor even buys/eats avocados. They require a TON of water to farm. Eating them pretty seriously undermines his holier-than-thou stance and makes it even more difficult to listen to the constant "tsk, tsk, tsk" coming from his keyboard.

Victor, how do you even sleep at night?
Hey, a man's gotta have his toast. (Too bad he will now never be able to retire.)

I thought Victor had sworn off avocado...

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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#36 Post by Jay Miller » September 27th, 2019, 7:52 am

Anton D wrote:
September 26th, 2019, 10:57 am

Hey, a man's gotta have his toast. (Too bad he will now never be able to retire.)
Now we know the real reason Victor rents instead of owning. All his money went on avocado toast [oops.gif]
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Re: Avocados. What a pain.

#37 Post by Chris Blum » October 12th, 2019, 8:02 am

Another person critical of Avocados...
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