What does it take to grow a luscious and creamy Hass avocado? Well, like anything else worth having, it takes time, patience, and amor if you want the very best.
Naturally, all of the magic starts with the Hass avocado tree. Healthy and mature avocado trees can grow to be more than 50 feet high. They have dark green, glossy leaves and form a rounded umbrella shape as they grow. One tree can produce hundreds of pounds of avocados in just one year.
Mexico is the world’s largest producer of Hass avocados. The state of Michoacán in west-central Mexico is where 85 percent of Mexico’s avocados are produced. Avocado trees are a common sight in the area. You can find lush, green avocado groves flourishing on flat terrain and on the region’s steep hillsides.
The Hass avocado trees of Michoacán do very well because of the ideal climate, which includes warm summers with plenty of rain. Because of this, they produce fruit (yep, avocados really are a fruit) all year long.
But climate isn’t the only key ingredient required to successfully grow avocados. The soil has to be just right. In Michoacán, the secret ingredient is volcanoes. Yes, volcanoes. There are 1,350 volcanoes in this Mexican state. Over the course of millions of years, their eruptions have produced an incredibly rich soil that fuels the growth of the avocado trees.
Avocados from Mexico take an entire year to mature on the tree. Only after those 12 months have passed is the aguacate ready to be picked and delivered (usually within days) to a produce department near you.
Because avocados don’t start to ripen until they’re picked off the tree, harvesting has to be timed correctly in order to ensure that the fruit is not picked too early. If avocados are harvested too soon, they won’t ripen to their ideal creamy texture. Once the ideal avocados are harvested, they can take up to a week to ripen to a soft, buttery goodness at room temperature.
Who knew so much work went into growing such a tasty fruit?