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Is it me or is there an Avocado Blight or bad crop lately?

OK, let me preface this by saying I know they are not exactly in season right now.

However, I used to buy them with about a 95% accuracy rate meaning that they were almot always perfect with minimal black spots. I usually buy them two or three days early and do one of two things (because it is hard to control the level of ripeness in the stores and I usually want to use them on Tuesdays and Wednesdays).

A) If they are pretty ripe already I buy them and put them in the fridge to keep two or three days (so they don't get mushy). I know what you are thinking: Refrigeration is bad. But I have been doing this for years with no adverse effect.

B) If they are under-ripe I just let them sit out for the two or three days.

Lately however, almost all have significant black spots / stringy tough spots. Sometimes I can cut around it and use the rest (but it ruins the look as it turns the whole thing gray). However, it is edible and I hate to throw out something that costs about $2.00. Sometimes the whole thing is unsalvagable. Another problem is that the avocado refuses to ripen. And yet a third thing which I never saw before was the seed that is so large it is practically at the skin. The flesh was so tough I had to throw it out.

Is anyone else experiencing this problem? Like I said, my batting average has gone from .955 to about .355 which may be ok in baseball, but not for picking expensive avocados.

Do I need to give up? Are avocados going the way of the banana (i.e. the variety we know and love becoming extinct?)

Would love to hear.

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  1. I did get a few just as you described, black spots and stringy, maybe a month ago, but all the ones I'm buying lately are better than usual. Plus the price came back down, which is usually an indicator that all is well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: coll

      I have had the same experience. I bought some at Wegmans that were all (6) so bad, I complained (too far to go and return). Each had half or more black spots, and what was green was terribly stringy.

    2. PS, I am located in NY. Maybe they are getting bounced around too much in transport? It wasn't this bad before. I also didn't consider the type of avocado we might be getting.
      Based on this web site, I am thinking we are getting the "Gwen" or the "Haas" right now. (Other times of year could include the "Bacon" or "Reed" type, but I never really paid that much attention).

      http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/in...

      1 Reply
      1. re: jcmods

        I'm in NY too. I'm not saying the avos I get are like the one Sis ships me from her backyard in San Diego, but the last few weeks they have been better than in a long while. Creamy but not mushy. The bad ones may have been a brand other than Calvados, now that I think of it. I think Calvados had some kind of production problem recently, although can't remember the specifics. But the way the weather has been this winter, who knows?

      2. I was having no luck about a month ago either. I was buying and letting them sit for a couple of days to soften and I experienced what you did - they either didn't soften at all or went from rock hard to stringy and gross on the inside overnight. So I stopped picking them up.

        I am in ny (nyc) too. Today WF is having a special of 5 avocados for $5. They felt generally ready to go and I purchased 5 but have not yet cut them open. They are Haas from Mexico (Cavalo label, organic). I'm hoping they are good since they "feel right" from the outside right now.

        1 Reply
        1. re: LNG212

          The best ones I've had this year (from NYC stores) were from Mexico, those should be good. The CA ones I've had have been spotty. I can't bear those black pimply-scarry things they get on the surface between the fruit and the peel.

        2. yes! I thought it was just me. There's this little hispanic grocery store down the street from me that I've been buying them at for years. They're always perfect. Lately they've been just waaay over ripe. Mushy and black. ALL of them feel mushy. I'll buy the one that feels the most firm, and even those are black. When I was in NY last month I was in a store near my mother and picked a couple up that felt a little firmer. They were much better than what I've found near me lately, though they still had a black spot or two on them.

          imma scaaaared!!

          1. I haven't had much of an issue lately with black or mushy spots.

            But I can't seem to get my avocados to ripen! I bought them Sunday and put them in a paper bag in the pantry to soften- they're still hard as rocks. Any way to get them to soften for Sunday? We'll have many unhappy guests if there's no guacamole for superbowl!

            5 Replies
            1. re: cheesecake17

              Yes I had the same thing happen. One avocado ripened and was actually good (best I had seen in a while). The other was soft enough to chance it, but when I cut into it it was awful. Tough as leather. I know they ripen in hot weather much faster. Maybe fly them down to Rio and back....LOL.

              1. re: jcmods

                I wish I could fly them somewhere to ripen! Otherwise I hope something magic happens btwn now and Sunday

                1. re: cheesecake17

                  Have you tried putting them by some bananas? The ethylene emitted from the bananas as they ripen will hasten the avocados' ripening as well.

                  1. re: Sloth

                    do the bananas have to be ripe? I don't have any bananas, but I can try to get some today

                    1. re: cheesecake17

                      Bananas at any stage will work, but I seem to get best results with yellow bananas that are still a little green at the ends. One site I checked said to put both bananas and avocados in a paper bag to really speed things up, but I've never tried that myself.