Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Mysterious Black Avocado


In my quest to fall in love with local avocados, for whom I share little to no current affections, I purchased a strange, new variety that I hadn't seen before. I bought it at "By Their Fruits," a produce market which is getting its own post soon enough, so be patient. Of course it was just advertised as a Florida Avocado, but this one looked different. It was small and perfectly smooth, with jet black skin. It looked like it was fashioned from rubber. It was quite soft, so I cut it open as soon as I got home and found it to be mostly pit with bright green flesh - iguana green, I'm talking. The skin was very thin so I had a hard time separating it from the meat and when I tasted it, I was almost startled by its fruity, almost floral flavor. It was very unusual. I would even call it sweet. This must be the variety used in certain South American desserts. I know a kind of sweet, avocado milkshake is popular in Brazil. If this isn't what they use, this would be a good choice, because it tastes more like what one would call a fruit, than other more savory varieties. It was a bit mealy and watery, lacking that buttery, velvety wonderfulness that I wish I could find in avocados grown in Florida. Anyway, it was different. I tried it. I wouldn't get it again, but I still wanted to know what variety it was. Much googling later, I think I've settled it. I am fairly certain that this was a Criollo Avocado. It seems to fit the description. I'm filing the Criollo Avocado in the "I Would Only Eat This If I Were Trapped On a Desert Island" file, right next to the Black Sapote. And no I didn't plant this one in a cup by my kitchen sink. I resisted.

5 comments:

  1. I can't defend Florida avocados but I don't think black sapotes are as bad as all that. You're right that they taste more of prunes than chocolate, but a little espresso powder or cinnamon can bring out more chocolately notes. Most recipes blend it with milk or other fruits to get past the textural issues. I wouldn't eat one out of hand, but they're quite good as an ingredient.

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  2. Maybe I went wrong in trying to eat the sapote plain. I can see where it might be better cooked or blended into something.

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  3. The little black avocado, if grown here in South Florida, is most likely a Mexicola, one of only one or two 'Mexican types' that will grow here. It's not a very good avocado...
    RE: your dissing of 'Florida avocados'- there are easily 100 varieties growing here, about 30-40 of which are commercially grown (though, like tomatoes, they are picked too soon, often stored too cold, and generally mishandled on their way to and at the market). Yes, in general, the 'Florida' varieties (which are often hybrids of the Guatemalan, West Indies, and Mexican types, are bigger than the Haas (a typical Mexican type), and have lighter flesh with more water and less fat. They range widely in flavor and density. The same variety picked too early will be bland and watery, whereas allowed to mature fully may be dense and creamy (Donnie comes to mind), and if allowed to ripen too long, becomes very very watery, streaked with brown, and bland again.

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  4. I have three avocado trees, the small black one is just a little guy that didnt get to be as big as the rest of the green long ones on the tree, i have had several this year along with the big ones. Also, neighbor's tree has big green round ones that have the buttery taste, absolute silk texture that you would like, can arrange a tasting if you are near roads/brickell. David

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  5. David, I would love love love to arrange an avocado tasting! I think that would be wonderful. Email me!

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