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Florida avocados have a pear-like shape and are large in size, often weighing over a pound and measuring up to 13 inches in length. Their vibrant green skin remains green even as the fruit ripens, though it may be mottled with the occasional brown streak. The smooth but tough outer skin clings tightly to the fruit's flesh, which houses a large central pit. The golden-yellow flesh is firm and slightly fibrous with high moisture content, and it offers a mild, almond-like nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness.
Florida avocados are available in the summer through winter months.
Florida avocados are botanically classified as Persea americana, and are members of the Lauraceae, or Laurel, family. Florida avocados take their name from their growing region in the state of Florida, where there are at least 50 different cultivars. Florida is known for its large-sized avocados, with some of the most successful commercial varieties being Doni, Lula, Bernecker and Pollock.
Avocados contain the highest source of protein of all fruits, and they have 60% more potassium than bananas per serving. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin E. Florida avocados are known for their unusually low fat content, roughly 10 grams less than the standard hass variety, with 1/3 of the calories.
Florida avocados can be used in raw and cooked applications. They are best suited for slicing or cubing as their firm flesh holds its shape well. Mashing may result in a watery texture, as the fruit is high in moisture and low in fat content, hence many prefer a creamier avocado variety for use in guacamole. Use Florida avocados instead for slicing and adding to sandwiches, soups, and salads. Pair Florida avocados with other healthy fats, such as olive oil or nuts. Other great pairings include citrus, tomatoes, salt, fresh herbs, garlic, onions, bacon, summer squash, aged cheeses, meats and seafood. Store avocados at room temperature until fully ripe. Florida avocados ripen within three days after harvest, and should be consumed once the fruit yields to gentle pressure. Note that the large size of Florida avocados shortens their shelf life, and they should be eaten within a day or two once ripe. If you want to slow ripening, store avocados in the refrigerator, as they will not continue to ripen when they are refrigerated. To prevent discoloration of cut avocados, brush the exposed flesh with lemon juice or vinegar and cover in plastic wrap before storing in the refrigerator where they will last for a day or two.
Brooks Tropicals, an agriculture company in Florida, first marketed the Florida avocado under the registered name “Slimcado” over 85 years ago. This name was given in hopes of attracting diet-driven consumers, and is a reference to the fact that Florida avocados have up to half the fat and 1/3 fewer calories than traditional avocados, like the hass avocado.
Florida avocados are native to Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America. They were first introduced into Florida from the West Indies as "alligator pears” by Henry Perrine in 1833. Florida is credited with being the first State in America to cultivate avocados.
People have spotted Florida Avocados using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
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