Avocados are loved endlessly around the world. So, it’s a good thing there are lots of them!
There are more than 500 types of avocados in the world. The exact number of types of avocados is impossible to nail down, as new variations are constantly being created through selective breeding and natural genetic variation. All avocados, however, do fall into one of three groups: Mexican (our personal favorite), Guatemalan, and Indian.
We don’t believe in popularity contests, but there is no doubting the numbers that prove the Hass avocado is the most widely distributed type of avocado on the market.
Here’s a quick primer on 15 of the most common types of avocados, for when you encounter them in the wild (or the grocery aisle).
Each type of avocado has its own unique characteristics in terms of texture, flavor, and nutritional content. However, no such variety has quite taken the world by storm—and stood the test of time—like the Hass avocado.
While there are many types of avocados (too many to count!) Hass reigns supreme. Most of the avocados in the U.S. are Hass, so the next time you dive into a brilliant green bowl of guacamole, you have Rudolph Hass, part-time postal worker and amateur botanist, to thank.
So, how did Hass become the leader of all the types of avocados? Let’s take a stroll through history to find out.
Hass avocados have a signature look and taste that’s unforgettable:
Avocados predate humans. That’s right: Before football, or Cinco de Mayo, or the very concept of brunch, avocados grew wild in the nutrient-rich soil found in subtropical and tropical areas of the Americas. And the ancestors of the avocados we know and love today looked a little different than what we’re used to smashing on our avocado toast. It’s a pity, but ancient avocados were mostly pit.
Because ancient avocados were so large and, therefore, hard to swallow, the creatures that noshed on them were also outsized. Enter: giant ground sloths. These gentle giants swallowed avocados whole and then traveled many miles throughout their day, leaving undigested seeds in their droppings along the way. This is how avocados spread across the Americas. Slow clap for sloths!
Fast forward (but not too far) to 500 B.C., when early humans cultivated avocados in Central America and Mexico. Most of these types of avocados were smooth and green but blemished more easily than the Hass avocados we know and love today. The Spanish took avocados around the world, popularizing them on a global level. But the world had to wait until after the 1920s for the first Hass avocado tree to blossom into a worldwide sensation.
The Hass avocado’s humble story begins in La Habra Heights, California, close to Los Angeles. A postal worker named Rudolph Hass bought a variety of avocado seeds, which were of unknown origin, from a local nursery. He plunked them in the ground on his property, which already had a few mature Fuerte avocado trees.
The seeds grew into immature trees, which Hass then grafted onto his Fuerte trees. This technique fused the mystery avocado variety with the Fuerte avocado tree and later produced the world’s first Hass avocados.
With one bite, Hass and his family knew they had a winner on their hands. Hass avocados were slightly nutty, luxuriously creamy, and clearly superior to any avocado they’d eaten before. Even better, Hass avocados grew in clusters, and the trees offered a better yield than other types of avocados.
The trouble was they needed to get the good news about Hass avocados out to the public, who was generally thrown off by the dark purple color and bumpy texture of the Hass avocado’s skin.
Over time, though, growers and distributors began stocking more and more Hass avocados. The sturdy skin of the Hass avocado helped keep the fruit in good shape during shipping, and the black color hid mild blemishes. And once shoppers took a bite of the Hass avocado, they were hooked!
Hass avocado trees have unique characteristics that set them apart from other types of avocados. Here are a few reasons Hass avocado trees are boss:
Today, 80% of avocados consumed around the world and 95% of avocados eaten in the U.S. are Hass. Its rich taste and buttery consistency are unlike those of any other type of avocado, making them the clear choice for guacamole, salads, smoothies, and sandwiches.
Another reason for the popularity of Hass avocados is their nutritional value. Hass avocados are higher in fat than other types—providing a buttery taste. This good fat does a world of good for our bodies. Need more proof? Hass avocados:
Find mouth-watering recipes using Hass avocados in our recipe archives.
Provide your email address to download
a free recipe e-book.