You can look for Fairtrade certified avocados for your next treat! – When you buy Fairtrade avocados, it means producers are paid at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price (if not more) and earn the extra Fairtrade Premium, which they can invest in their communities and improve the ecosystem through reforestation and prevent water contamination.
Season: Fair Trade Avocados are available in mid to late October. An avocado is ripe when it yields to gentle pressure when squeezed. In some varieties, like the popular Haas, the fruit’s skin will turn from green to black when ripe. The California Avocado Board has a nice little guide to how to tell when an avocado is ripe by variety.
Flavor: Although it is mild, the taste of avocado is very unique. The flavor itself is very subtle and is earthy, grassy, and nutty but fresh. Some people even describe it as buttery. The texture is smooth and creamy.
Storage: Store unripe avocados on the counter until they ripen, then stick them in the fridge, where they will keep for up to a week. Do not store unripe avocados in the fridge — they will never soften. Ripen too hard avocados by placing them in a paper bag with a ripe banana. Ripe bananas emit ethylene gas that causes some fruit (avocados included) to ripen quickly. In either case, don’t suffocate the fruit for long with airtight plastic. Without oxygen, pears will degrade faster and their natural moisture may encourage mold.
How to use: Most of us in the US automatically think of guacamole when we think of avocados. The modern variations on guacamole are endless, but the dip originated with the Aztecs and has been around since at least the 15th century (and probably before).
Avocado pairs very well with strong flavors like citrus, alliums (think onions and garlic), chiles, cilantro and tropical fruits (think mangoes). Avocados are primarily eaten raw, but cooked avocado dishes are appearing with more frequency. Note: some avocado varieties don’t do well cooked, as they get bitter. Haas is a good choice if you plan to apply a little heat. Avocado oil has a fairly high smoke point and is pretty tasty drizzled on veggies and in vinaigrettes.
Nutrition: Avocados are nutritional powerhouses: the fruit is loaded with healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and fiber, including Vitamins C and K, B vitamins and potassium. They are high in fatty acids (omegas -6 and -3), which are important in brain function, metabolism, and bone, skin and hair growth. The fats in avocados may also help promote heart health. Interestingly, people with latex allergies are sometimes allergic to avocados as well, due to cross-reactivity. Assuming you’re not allergic, the fruit is also good for your skin.