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Feb 13, 2007 07:52 PM

Thoughts on Mexican Avocados

The embargo on imorts of mexican avocados has been recently lifted in a few states - California among them.

Before I knew this, I was waiting in line in a small Mexitessen and the cashier kept on going on an on about these Michoacano Avocados, needless to say it whetted my appetite.

I had my first opportunity to taste some from the state of Michoacan the other day. They do have a different taste, lighter color, and smoother consistency than the hass from CA and Chile that I am use to.

Have you tried them out yet?

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  1. Haven't seen any make their way to Sonoma County... but I know we are going to primarily get HASS avocados. I would bug small shopkeepers about getting different varieties from Michoacan... it would be great to see a trickle of heirloom varieties making their way.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Eat_Nopal

      Thus far - all have been hass I have come across. They have a sticker with "Michoacan" printed?

      Do you have any names of the heirloom varietals Eat Nopal- should the slight chance occur of coming across these?

    2. Michoacan is one of the largest avocado growing areas. Calvado is a major employer in Uruapan. We retired to Patzcuaro about 20 miles from Uruapan and can attest that the avocados here are the best (and cheapest) that I have ever had. My gardener has several producing trees in his yard and we are in heaven when he brings us HUGE, just picked ripe avocadoes. Plan a visit to beautiful Michoacan for the interesting foods and the beautiful scenery.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Pampatz

        I have a question re. the dish of Uruapan - Carnitas. How have you seen it served? I mean I know it has many applications - tacos, huaraches etc. but are there any long held beliefs regarding adornment? For me - Avocado is like the icing on the cake-carnitas. Would that be frowned upon?

        1. re: kare_raisu

          Hola amigo...

          In 26 years of eating carnitas in Michoacán, I've never seen anyone put avocado on a carnitas taco. It's funny how tradition-bound foods are, and not just in Mexico.

          Carnitas in Michoacán are traditionally served with tortillas to make your own tacos, with a variety of salsas on the side--you pick the one(s) you want to use. Other garnishes are cilantro sprigs, chile jalapeño en escabeche, and encurtido de cebolla con chile perón. Beans and rice can be side dishes, unless you are chowing down on pure carnitas. Here´s a photo of a plate of carnitas and some garnishes from the place that shall remain nameless...makes my mouth water just to look at that whopping plate of pork goodness.

          Let's talk a little bit about Michoacán avocados. The Hass avocado is what's cultivated for the wholesale market--thousands upon thousands of avocado orchards grace the hills around Uruapan. When I was living there, long years ago, the first orchards were just being planted. The nay-sayers thought the avocado growers would lose their shirts. The growers thought they'd become rich. Guess who was right! There are Michoacán multi-millionares in avocados.

          There's another breed of avocado grown there and in other places, but primarily for home consumption. It's not usually sold either wholesale or retail. It's a huge avocado, rounder than the Hass. By the time it's ready to eat, the seed rattles around inside it. The flesh is firmer than the Hass, more watery, and has much less flavor. When those avocados are in season, it's about as easy to give them away as it is to give away kittens. There are too many of them around.

          Yet another kind of Michoacán avocado is the criollo. It's tiny, the skin is smooth and shiny and almost black, the seed is small, and many folks eat it skin and all. It's rarely seen for sale outside Michoacán's indigenous markets. I saw some for sale in Guadalajara exactly once.

          1. re: cristina

            I read in LA's La Opinon a couple days ago that Guadlajara just celebrate d in 465th anniversary? Were there festivities? Were you able to attend? If so any noteworthy food?

            1. re: kare_raisu

              Kare, the celebration is still going strong and will be for a month. I haven't been downtown for a few days (although I only live five minutes away), but maybe this weekend I can go take a peek at what's happening. When I have the radio on, I do hear spot announcements of historical interest--such-and-such happened in 1583, for instance. I'll check into the food aspect of it, too.

              Thanks for asking.

              1. re: cristina

                Awesome picture by the way....drooling!

                I wanted to specifically ask you about foods of Jalisco. I know of Tortas Ahogadas, Birria, and chorizo --but are there lesser know Jaliscan dishes you may be able to reveal?

                I am expecially interested in this state because some of the most passionate people -I have come across and talked to- about the food of Mexico are Tapatio/a.

                1. re: kare_raisu

                  Let's start a new thread about regional specialties of Jalisco. I don't have time right this minute, but if you want to put it on the board, I'll come back later to talk about it.

                  Good idea, amigo.

          2. re: kare_raisu

            Uruapan is well know throughout the country for their Carnitas... but I think other towns have better platings / pairings. Around Mexico State they like serving them with Peanut Salsa & Nopalitos... I like this.

        2. What an interesting topic. I thought I would share this website with some photographs. These are all historic california varieties, but the parentage varies, with most coming from Mexican varieties.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ozzygee

            FASCINATING website, thank you so much for posting it! There's always something new to learn--I just got up and already this made my day.