Demand for avocados world-wide continues to grow. These green gems with their luscious velvety flesh, sexy curves and gorgeous colour not only make beautiful dishes, they are also really good for you.
Nutrient-dense, avocados have over 20 vitamins and minerals. What other fruit do you know can be served as a dip, a dressing, can turn toast into something everyone wants as well as make a brownie, ice cream and mousse? There have been significant plantings across the North Island in recent years, and there are over 4,000 hectares of avocado trees planted. This huge investment involving 1,800 growers has the intention of tripling avocado grower productivity in 2023.
There’s never been a better time to make avocado a staple on your menu. SMASH IT! Smashed avocado is almost as common on Kiwi café menus as Eggs Benedict, yet there are so many more ways to use this increasingly popular fruit. Originally from Mexico, they lend themselves to fresh dishes and are always livened up with a touch of citrus (especially lime). Beautiful and buttery, they add not only colour and flavour to your dishes but also a luscious mouthfeel. Perfect with seafood, great with chicken, ideal as a mayo alternative. Less commonly known is that avocado can be used to replace cream in certain sauces. If vegan and raw are what your customers are demanding, again the avocado is your friend – try them in a velvety chocolate mousse or ice cream without the cream.
Hass is the main variety of avocado grown in New Zealand, accounting for 95% of the commercial plantings. Hass has a thick, pebbly skin that darkens when ripe. Available in good supply August to April.
A large, round avocado that stays green even when ripe. To test if a Reed avocado is ready to eat, gently press the stem on top of the fruit. If the stem moves, it’s ripe.
In season February to June with limited supply.
Most avocados in New Zealand are grown in the Bay of Plenty and Northland with the main harvest being from August to February.
Ripen avocados by storing them with other fruit at room temperature. Use ripe avocados as soon as possible or store in the chiller for a couple of days. To keep fruit for longer, store unripe avocados in the chiller away from ethylene emitting fruit and bring out to ripen a few days before you need them.