Friday, January 22, 2016
'Bacon' Avocado Fruit 'Stores' on Tree in Temperate Climate
Above is the fruit of a 'Bacon' variety of Avocado (Persea americana) grown in Central Wellington, New Zealand, a temperate climate. I missed this fruit 3-4 months ago when picking the main crop in Sept-October, it's now late January. I've just eaten it and it seemed fine to me, ripened on a window sill. Probably more mushy than usual seemingly because it took longer to ripen all over, that might be fixed with special ripening methods such as proximity to flour to speed up the process. Experts sometimes talk of Avocado fruit going "bad" left on the tree making some varieties unsuitable for this purpose, referring to this as "bacony" in flavor (it's just a coincidence this variety also happens to be called "Bacon"). I don't know what this "off" taste is like but it didn't seem to taste different to me (though I ate the other ones several months earlier so hard to be absolutely certain, it's possible the flavor lingered in the mouth longer than usual (I'd say if this Avocado was "bacony" the flavor would not put anyone off who values producing their own food above consumerism).
Several varieties of Avocado are valued for their ability to "store" fruit on the tree such as Hass and Reed, meaning fruit can be left on the tree for months and will not ripen until picked, a major advantage. I have not seen reports of the 'Bacon' variety doing this anywhere on the net or in books. I have seen predictions from an authoritative sounding webpage from elsewhere in New Zealand (which I can't relocated at present) that another variety that does not 'store' in hot climates will probably do so in cooler climates, which seems to have happened here.
I'm not saying at this stage 'Bacon' could be grown for an extended season commercial crop, I doubt the mushy fruit would be good enough for consumers, the taste would also need to be tested by experts. But for my purposes, producing as much of my own food year round in the home garden, it is a very exciting discovery indeed.