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Texas Eats: Avocadoes

Avocadoes aren’t a huge crop for Texas, though they’re not insignificant, either, bringing in some $50,000 per year. They grow on large, evergreen trees that don’t tolerate the cold. Even a moderate frost can kill a tree, so avocado production in Texas is limited to the southern part of the state, especially parts of the Rio Grande Valley. If your green thumb inspires you to plant an avocado pit, you’ve got a good chance of getting it to germinate, but don’t count on getting tasty avocadoes from it. They aren’t “true to seed,” meaning the fruit a tree grown from seed bears won’t match the fruit that yielded that original seed. You’d have a long wait, too, as an avocado tree can take 10 to 15 years to bear its first fruit. Good avocadoes are relatively easy to get at the grocery store because, unlike most fruit, they don’t ripen on the tree. They soften to tastiness only after being picked; typically a fruit needs several days after picking to reach its full potential. So why look for Texas avocadoes if they don’t need to be eaten close to where and when they were picked? To reduce your carbon footprint. Importing an avocado from New Zealand, for instance, seems silly when they grow right here in Texas and south of our border in Mexico, too.

2 Comments

  1. Owen wrote:

    I’m happy to buy a Texas avocado if it is at least as tasty and at least as cheap as a competing New Zealand avocado. However, if a New Zeland farmer can produce an avocado with a better expense-taste combination, he deserves to be rewarded for his efforts. To use your term, it “seems silly” to reward (and thereby encourage)inferiority.

    Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 9:17 am | Permalink
  2. Beth wrote:

    Unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly what I paid for the one in the picture. It came in my weekly Local Box of produce from Greenling. (More on that at http://www.greenling.com and http://www.greenlinglocal.wordpress.com, where I write a blog on the subject, if you’re interested.) I *can* tell you that it was a premium avocado, quality-wise. Its flavor was excellent.

    Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 9:27 am | Permalink

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