The avocado is a noble fruit, famed for its rich flavor and smooth creamy texture. It is indeed a fruit, with a peel and a pit. The botanical name is Persea Americana, and it is related to other Lauraceae family members, bay laurel, camphor and cinnamon. The avocado is an ancient fruit more than 7,000 years old, and native to the New World. Over the centuries avocado groves moved from Central to South America; to Peru and then to Chile. The Peruvian province of Palta gave its name to the fruit, now known as palta throughout much of South America.
Avocado quality (flavor and texture) is judged by oil content, determined by the percent of dry matter left after a unique testing process. A higher percentage of dry matter equals higher oil content, which means more flavor. Chile has a voluntary maturity level of 23% dry matter. Chilean growers pride themselves on their state-of-the-art good agricultural practices (GAP) at every step of growth, harvest, packing and shipping, to maintain their highest-in-the-industry standards. Chilean Hass avocados are global GAP approved, the highest standard in the world. Chilean growers are also industry leaders in using a far greater percentage of battery-operated equipment, such as tractors, harvesters, trucks and forklifts.
Avocados come from Chile to the U.S. and other countries in refrigerated vessels and containers, sailing mainly from the Chilean port of Valparaiso, on the Pacific coast, as from other ports on that ocean. Shipments to the US. arrive in ports on the East and West coast and also in the main ports of Europe. Each vessel carries the equivalent of 200 truckloads, but with greater fuel efficiency than fruit shipped by truck. Chilean avocado importers receive the fruit at the ports, ripen it and deliver it to supermarkets and distributors.
The preference for black avocados has drastically changed priorities for the genetic improvement of avocado trees; in fact, only a small number of many of the new green varieties have been planted. The long harvest season is one of Hass’s greatest qualities, which together with its great quality, has incremented the world consumption of avocados.
The fruit has excellent quality, with no fiber, high resistance during transport and long postharvest life.
It blossoms once a year from the beginning to the end of spring. It is fit for harvest from the ninth month of blossom, July, and the harvest finishes in February-March.
Once the proper physiological maturity is reached, Hass avocados can remain in the tree for several months, in such a way that the tree acts as a storage plant, which allows a considerably longer harvesting period. This is one of the most significant characteristics of Hass cultivar.