Avocados all year around, and at a cheaper price? Yes please! According to an article seen here at http://www.grubstreet.com/ this may soon become a reality. Currently California grows a staggering 90 percent of the avocados grown here in the U.S. but that still leaves us needing to import up to 85 percent of the 4 billion avocados we consume every single year (doubling the amount consumed in 2005). These numbers really put the pressure on the nearly 4 thousand avocado farmers in California.
Mary Lu Arpaia, researcher from UC Riverside has spent the last 20 years trying to develop a strand of avocado that can within stand both California’s summer and winter months. Not only would this allow for us guacamole lovers to enjoy our favorite topping all year around but it may not have to break the bank. Additionally it is being said that this new improved fruit will retain the most desirable traits of avocado and leave behind some of the less desirable traits; such as early browning known to be caused by polyphenol oxidase, the enzyme responsible for the guacamole’s demise.
GEM avocados just maybe be the diamond in the rough giving the popular ‘Hass’ avocados a run for its money. The University of Riverside has entered agreement with Westfalia Fruit Estates to further their avocado agricultural growth. GEM avocado trees are more favorable for growing as their annual yield is consistent. The GEM trees also grow lower to the ground and the fruit tends to grow towards the inner part of the tree allowing for it to be more protected from the elements. GEM avocados can be identified by its’ round shape as compared to its tear drop shaped predecessor. Additionally the GEM begins with a green skin and turning almost black when it’s ready to be eaten.
Weather you enjoy your creamy fruit ( yes I’m still talking about the avocado) as a topping on your food, an ingredient in a sauce or enjoy eating it straight out of its shell, I think we can all agree that we will be thanking Mary when we can get our fruit year around at an affordable price.