I just came in from checking out our Fuerte avocado trees. It’s almost time to pick the biggest avocados! This variety is rarely found outside of California anymore, but they are among the best tasting avocados in my opinion.
We have had such hot weather in the last month or so that the leaves are really brown on the tips. The tree has been trying to get enough water during the heat, but salts have built up in the soil since we haven’t had rain to wash them away. That’s why so many of the leaves are brown. Fuerte trees are especially sensitive to salt.
When I stick my head into the branches, I can find bunches of beautiful Fuerte avocados! They are getting larger now and beginning tomorrow the biggest ones will be cleared by the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture as legal to harvest. This means that the oil content for size 40 and up has reached the industry standard and is deemed to be edible. Size 40 is 9.5-10.5 ounces, and they’re named “40’s” because 40 of this size avocado will fit into a lug box. If the avocados are bigger and only 36 fit into a box. they are called “36’s”. Smaller avocados are “48’s” or “60’s” because that’s how many will fit into a lug box.
Even though the state of California has released the large Fuertes for harvest (as of Oct. 27, 2015) it’s a good idea to wait another month or two. The oil content may be high enough for the fruit to soften, but the deep flavor of a Fuerte will develop as the oil content gets higher. We like to wait until January or February to eat them. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t pick your fruit if they are very large and the tree is straining to hold them all! Bring a few inside and let them soften, then see what you think about the flavor. Fuerte avocados are delicious throughout the season!
You might see a few of these on your Fuerte avocado tree. These are avocados that didn’t grow correctly and because they are shaped like a little cocktail wiener, we call them “Cocktails”. Some folks love to pickle them. They’re ripen just like a regular avocado too! When our kids were small they would use them like crayons to draw on the concrete driveway. Kids can make their fun anywhere with anything!
We like to pick only the largest avocados and leave the smaller ones on the tree to size up.
Do you have a Fuerte avocado tree? Fuerte variety is one of the classic California avocado varieties that have amazing flavor but are no longer shipped across the country by suppliers to grocery stores and food service. The skin is thinner than Hass, and the fruit is smooth, not bumpy like a Hass. When they are ripe and have been softened, the skin will peel right off the fruit! Such a beautiful flavor too!
Have you ever eaten Fuerte avocados? They’re one of my favorites! Look for them in the Farmers Markets in southern California or order some online!