Rich, creamy and flavourful, avocados are a versatile fruit that add heft and health to many dishes.
Avocado's are in season from March to August but are available at select retailers all year round. Avocado's grow best in high-rainfall areas, near the coast or where no frost occurs.
Local South African Varieties:
Characteristics: Pear-shaped good quality fruit with a rich, creamy texture
Skin: Smooth skin that stays green even when ripe. Flesh bruises easily.
Season: March to July
Characteristics: An oval-shaped fruit with a creamy texture and a slightly nutty taste
Skin: A thick skinned fruit with a rough green skin that turns blackish-purple when ripe
Season: May to October
Characteristics: Fruit has a thick neck with a slightly sweet taste
Skin: A thick rough, skin that remains green when ripe
Season: April to July
Characteristic: A rich nutty-tasting fruit with an oval shape
Skin: A thick green coloured skin with light brown speckles which stays this way when ripe
Season: June to September
Characteristic: Late season egg-shaped fruit
Skin: Slightly rough dark green skinned variety that stays green when ripe
Season: July to October
How to choose?
Avocado's are ripe when they feel heavy for their size, yield to light pressure and are dark in colour. Do not squeeze ripe avo’s too hard as the fruit’s flesh is soft and will bruise. Avocado’s will only ripen fully after they are removed from the tree. To check if they are ready, pick a few of the biggest, best shaped specimens and keep them indoors in a dark drawer or brown bag. If, after 8 to 10 days, they do not shrivel up and they are soft and edible then you can begin harvesting.
How to prepare?
There is no cleaning necessary for the avocado, simply slice in half and scoop out the flesh.
Avocado is a fruit that does not need preparation, it can simply be halved and eaten straight out of the skin with a spoon. Its creamy, gentle flavour makes it ideal for mixing with the strong spices and ingredients like chillies, pepper, coriander and lemon. Although avocados have a high fat content they can be part of a successful weight management programme because the monounsaturated oil they contain is believed to speed up the body’s metabolic rate. They are also rich sources of vitamins such as A, B6, E and C and minerals such as potassium and magnesium..
Simply slice or spoon the avocado out of its skin.
Per 30 grams (raw):
50 kcal, 2 g protein, 4.5g fat, 3 g carbohydrate and 2g dietary fibre