As you may have surmised from my last post, over the past few days Bryan and I have been in California avocado heaven, an experience made possible by the wonderful folk at the California Avocado Commission. It was only a few hours ago that we parted ways from our fellow partners in California avocado crime, including coast-to-coast food bloggers, produce trade professionals, and even the manager of Bon Appetit's test kitchen.
It was a fantastic group with extensive experience and enthusiasm, not to mention a hefty appetite for avocados. An appetite which our hosts did their absolute best to satiate through behind-the-scenes education, culinary celebration, and endless inspiration from the unparalleled versatility of the avocado. I'm so inspired I'm kicking off the first of a series of avocado-related posts with my very own Letterman-esque list: Top 10 Thing You Need To Know About Avocados. How many do you know? Do you have any to add?
California-grown Haas Avocados
1. The two biggest avocado sales happen during the Super Bowl and Cinco de Mayo.
2. Refrigerating perfectly ripe avocados will stop the ripening process, giving you perfect avocados for up to two weeks.
3. Ninety-five percent of avocados grown in California are of the Haas variety.
4. California's avocado season is from March to August, but can occasionally extend as long as October. Varieties from Chile and Mexico fill in the blanks.
5. It takes 360 gallons to water ONE avocado tree each week.
6. California is the only state in the U.S. that grows Haas avocados.
7. Avocado picking rods -- think a 10 foot-long pole with a basket and clipper at the end -- are made from fiberglass. Previous aluminum versions posed electrocution risks.
8. An avocado has more potassium than a banana.
9. Avocados are a great healthy alternative to oil, butter and lard in recipes. Just replace the fat with equal parts avocado and breads, cakes, and even Italian creams will come out moist and rich.
10. A new variety of Haas, called the Lamb Haas, is about to hit stores come July. They're bigger, more pear-shaped and slightly more fibrous than regular Haas avocados.