The Hass avocado is known for its quintessentially tumbled leathery fairly thick skin that turns near black when fully mature. The flesh closest to the skin is a lush colored pale lime green and as it nears the central pit it develops a rich creamy yellow tone and softer, oil rich texture. Hass avocado's flavor reflects its texture - creamy and smooth with a nutty and sweet finish.
Hass avocados' seasons vary depending on the growing region. California avocados are in season from February through October. When they are not in-season, they can be found growing in Chile, Peru and Mexico, though summer Mexican crops have a tendency to have an overly rich oil content.
Though there are hundreds of varieties of avocados, the Hass avocado has become the benchmark avocado for commercial production. Its long growing seasons, prolific fruit production and shipping tolerance are virtues that make the Hass the standard market avocado. It is the avocado that the general public identify as simply, an avocado. The name avocado comes from the fruits original Aztec name, aoacatl or ahuacatl. After being discovered and mispronounced by the Spanish, and then the English, the fruit made its way to Jamaica where it was called many things including avocado and alligator pear. In Florida the first avocados were introduced by the West Indies as "alligator pears" and was known as such on the eastern coast until The American Pomological Society and the U.S. Department of Agriculture adopted "avocado" as the commercial name for the fruit.
Depending on the time of year, the avocado's fat content varies. In the early part of the harvest season, California avocados have a fat content close to 2 grams per ounce, while later in the year, they can peak at 6 grams per ounce. Avocados are rich in dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium and folate and are a good source of mono-unsaturated fat.
To halve and pit a ripe avocado, cut in half lengthwise until reaching the center stone. Twist the two halves in opposite directions to separate. Remove the pit with a spoon. Carefully peel away skin. Avocados may be mashed, cubed or sliced, stuffed or pureed. To store, ripen fruit at room temperature. Refrigerate when ripe. Once ripe, use promptly for optimum flavor and texture.