Farmers' Market Report: A Primer on Seasonal Avocados


We're big avocado lovers here in Southern California, and with the number of varieties appearing this time of year it's sometimes hard to know which to choose. While the standard Hass avocados are available nearly year-round, seasonal varieties available here, such as the Zutano and the Fuerte, add some subtle variation to the mix.

Zutano avocados are shinier in appearance and brighter green in color, whereas the Fuerte have a chalky and matte army-green hue. According to Atkins Farms at the La Cienega Farmers' Market, the Zutanos are lighter in flavor and more sturdy in texture than a Hass or the creamy Fuerte. So while Zutanos make terrific slices for a sandwich or a burrito, the Fuertes make for perfect guacamole.

Just wait till your Fuertes are soft to the touch (they won't turn purplish-black like Hass varieties) and spoon their flesh into a bowl with chopped tomatoes, minced onion, lime juice, and salt & pepper to taste. Add a jalapeno if you're so inclined before mashing into the consistency you desire. Grab some tortilla chips and your TV watching will never be the same.

In fact, the Fuertes seem truly destined for dip: they oxidize (turn brown) less quickly than other avocado varieties, keeping your guacamole fresh for longer. Then again, with avocados this delicious, you probably won't have much left over.