September’s Menu “Hass” Avocado
The Avocado BLT Tossed Salad (w/ bacon) tossed salad will be available September 1-28th! Bacon, Iceberg and Romaine lettuce, and Roma tomatoes make a great classic BLT. We are turning it up a notch with the addition of red onions and the rich buttery flavor of avocado and a creamy house-made avocado ranch dressing. The avocados that come from Calavo Growers Inc., headquartered in Santa Paula, CA. Calavo has a rich and long history.
It all started in 1924 when a group of avocado growers banded together to form the California Avocado Growers exchange. Today, it is known as Calavo after a national naming contest. It was 1926 when Rudolph Hass first planted the Hass avocado tree in La Habra, CA. The Hass variety is the most popular with 98% of the total California production and estimated 85% worldwide.
Today, there are approximately 700 Calavo California growers from San Diego to San Luis Obispo Counties, along the coast and in coastal valleys in California, averaging 5 to 25 acres on each farm. Calavo exports avocados from California and other avocado producing countries worldwide. They also import avocados from Mexico, Chile, and other avocado producing countries when California avocados are not in peak season.
This past April, several Garden Fresh team members toured Calavo’s avocado groves, led by Peter Shore, Senior Account Manager for Calavo. He spoke about the growing conditions. “In California, the trees set one crop. In Mexico, trees set up to 4 crops, due to its even climate that is always about 75 to 85 degrees. Avocados are native to Central America and do well in Mediterranean climate, but best in a sub-tropical climate.”
It takes 3-7 years for an avocado tree to become productive and 8-16 months from flower to fruit depending on where it’s grown. “Depending on soil and climatic conditions, a tree is productive for 20 to 30 years, sometimes up to 50,” says Peter.
Calavo uses sound wave technology to measure the avocado’s ripeness. The sound wave goes through the avocado and bounces back information to indicate the internal pressure without harming the avocado. Peter expects during harvest that “California is going to be about 350 million pounds this year. Mexico will be about 1.8 billion pounds.
Calavo Growers, Inc. is a global avocado-industry leader. The company also procures and markets diversified fresh produce items, ranging from tomatoes to tropical produce. An expanding provider of value-added fresh food, the company’s Calavo Foods business segment manufactures and distributes guacamole, guacamole hummus, and salsa under the respected Calavo brand name. Founded in 1924, Calavo serves food distributors, produce wholesalers, supermarket retailers and restaurant chains worldwide. www.calavo.com