I’ll admit…this month’s Plant of the Month sounds a little suspicious for a plant-based food site. But before you think that we’ve somehow started eating bacon (or any animal products), keep reading!
One of my favorite things about our New Roots Organics produce delivery service is that we occasionally get to try lesser-known varieties of familiar foods. Bacon avocados are an example. These showed up in our delivery a few weeks ago, and I’m now a fan!
There are hundreds of varieties of avocados, but only a handful of them are grown for commercial use. The Bacon variety is one that I’ve never heard of or eaten before. Most of what we can buy in our grocery stores in Seattle comes from California or Mexico, and they are usually Hass or Fuerte avocados. You’re unlikely to see Bacon avocados in grocery stores or at farmers markets unless you live in a part of California where they’re grown. So I consider this yet another perk of our New Roots subscription!
Bacon avocados have absolutely nothing to do with bacon (the food). They are named for James Bacon, who hybridized them in 1954. They can be grown as far north as the Bay Area of California because they can handle cooler weather better than other types. For avocado farmers, this variety is usually one of the first of the growing season to be ripe. The resources I found said they’re usually in season in November and December, but we got ours in late February, so maybe the drought in California last year is somehow involved in their late availability?
Bacon avocados differ from Hass (or other more commonly grown varieties) in a few ways. First, they have a much thinner skin. I found that this made it harder to use my usual technique of scooping the flesh out with a spoon. The skin is comparable to that of a nectarine. It’s probably easier to peel them than to try to scoop them out. The skin is also very smooth and remains light green even when ripe.
Second, the texture is a little different. Even when ripe, they weren’t quite as soft and are less oily than other varieties. The taste is also lighter than other varieties. But I used them the way I’d usually use a Hass avocado (on sandwiches, in avocado pudding, with enchiladas, etc.), and they worked just as well.
If you have the chance to try this avocado variety, I highly recommend it. As I’ve said before, one of my favorite parts of eating a plant-based diet is that I’m constantly finding new plant foods to try!