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Dumb Question about Avocados

In the supermarket they have "Hass Avocados" and just plain old avocados. What's the difference? What do you use each variety for? What about other varieties?

(Can't believe I asked this when my first job in the food business was in a Mexican Restaurant, but I was bartending!)

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  1. Hass has a darkish rougher skin, those are the buttery California avaocados. The thin brighter green, smoother is another variety that I don't remember the name, and not one I will buy. Can't beat the Hass for flavor and consistent good quality.

    Haas if the one for creamy guacamole. I have no idea how to use the other or if you could.

    1. the hass avacados has a buttery texture and rich more meaty flavor which is great in everything, in my opinion and particularly suited to guacamole. their skin when ripe is almost black and very bumpy. Florida avacados, with glossy bright green skin have a more firm flesh, and fruity flavor, and tends to be less creamy in texture, I've never found these to be as good as Hass avacados but they do ok in things like salads.

      1. The hass variety is the most popular, because of taste, size, and because they are
        grown here in california. the little black one are from mexico. if you want more info go
        to the california avacado growers website. they all the info you would want beside of the
        recipes they have.

        1. The two varieties that show up here (PacNW) are Haas and Fuerte. The Haas is the rough, dark skinned and creamy one, the Fuerte is smooth skinned with less oil content, hence less creamy. Some interesting stuff...

          http://whatscookingamerica.net/avacad...

          1. http://www.avocado.org/about/varietie...

            it should give you most of the answers you need. Living in north county San Diego we are lucky to have avocado trees growing everywhere. The best time is when everyone is trying to get rid of their avocados and are giving them away by the dozens. Guacamole time!!!

            1. The little bumpy ones are the best. The larger ones (are greener) tastes like a Diet version of the little ones - yuck.

              6 Replies
              1. re: sdoby22

                Yuk is right. For some reason, those taste a bit like bananas to me. We always buy the Haas too.

                1. re: Rubee

                  Thanks so much everyone! This will be so helpful as I love dishes with avocado.

                  1. re: Rubee

                    You hit upon a good point about the less-potent avocados. They do taste more like fruit. In fact, they do go much better with fruit salads than the Haas (try it in a pink grapefruit salad), as the more buttery rich flavor of the Haas seems to go better with more savory-type dishes. The Fuerte is the most common variety of the less fatty, smoother skinned green avocado. It is also preferred in avocado smoothies and shakes. As much as I prefer the Haas as well, I would never turn away a Fuerte, Bacon, or Zutano when they are in season, which is right now. They are all good as long as you know how to use them, and you'll find that a fully ripened Fuerte can have a considerable amount of richness (oil) that would make a respectable guacamole or BLT with avo as well.

                    1. re: bulavinaka

                      Thanks so much! How interesting, you've made me re-think the avocado variations. I'd love some of your other suggestions. I will definitely try the Fuerte now in salads - the pink grapefruit idea sounds great - or in a shake (I've only used the Haas).

                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/36667...

                      1. re: Rubee

                        Another variation on salads which I like avocado, Fuerte or otherwise, is with mango or papaya. Think of a mango or papaya salsa, only where the fruits are sliced and not chopped or diced. Add some shrimp, crab, or lobster, to either the pink grapefruit or mango (not papaya - the enzymes will turn your proteins into mush) along with some herbs of your choice - cilantro or parsley are easy choices - and the rest is up to you...

                        1. re: bulavinaka

                          I don't think I've ever seen a Fuerte avocado on the east coast. I don't think Fuertes travel well, due to their softer skin, but I've only every seen Haas avocados and Florida avocados out here. Conversely, I've never seen Florida avocados on the west coast. My family used to have a Fuerte tree in our backyard when I was a kid, so I grew up eating lots of them, and many of my relatives in CA have avocado trees, so there's no shortage of them in the household. Also, Fuertes grow during the winter to early spring months, so it's late in the season for them.

                2. I have tried many other varieties of avos other than the popular Haas and Fuerte. I now go the local farmer's market and see what is in season. There are so many more varieties than the haas and fuerte. I once had a black skinned that was so buttery. You could even eat the skin. Here are a couple of links that may be of interest to you:
                  http://www.willsavocados.com/index.ph...

                  http://www.avocado.org/about/varietie...

                  http://ucavo.ucr.edu/AvocadoWebSite%2...

                  1. You can use the regular green avocados for guacamole and anything else. I grew up eating the green kind and so like them better. We used to cut them in half, sprinkle salt on them, and a squeeze of lime juice.

                    I never really liked the Haas ones as much, I thought they had less avocado flavor.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mlgb

                      I'm with you. I'm from Florida - we had a tree in our backyard when I was growing up. I happen to love all avocadoes, but I like the green Florida variety better when they're really ripe with a squeeze of lemon and some pepper. FYI, when it was avocado season, we also had a really fat dog. She would hold the big avocado between her paws and go to town!

                      1. re: amyvc

                        There's a saying from Jamaica, something like: "Like the puss to the pear"

                        (Cats like them also). Avocado = alligator pear.

                      2. re: mlgb

                        Try halving and pitting a Haas, then pouring a little soy sauce in it. Scoop out the flesh and enjoy...