avocados, bananas and more in puerto rico
“You want some avocado with your eggs this morning?”, Holly said, smiling. “Yeah, I guess I should have some”, I drearily replied.
We spent the last few weeks back at our friend’s little finca in the hills of Rincón again and avocados were in season. Every morning we would wake up to find a handful of freshly fallen avocados on the ground underneath one of the avocado trees. These were the gorgeous green-skinned avocados that we would have eagerly snapped up at the farmer’s market just a few weeks back.
However, as the days progressed, each additional avocado we encountered was worth less to us than the one before. It was a real-life lesson of the law of diminishing marginal utility as one can only eat SO much guacamole! We valiantly used (and gave away) as many as we could though.
puerto rican avocados
Seriously though, “too many” fresh and free avocados isn’t a bad problem to have. Especially once we learned more about the special characteristics of the avocados that grow here. They hold their shape better when sliced and cubed than the Hass avocados common in the states. This makes them particularly well suited as a garnish with breakfast or as a salad or sandwich topper.
One of the knocks on Puerto Rican avocados is that they are less creamy (read: have less fat) and are more “watery” when mashed. While this is generally true, I understand that if you get an exceptionally watery one, it was likely harvested early. Apparently, the oil content goes up and water down they longer they ripen on the tree.
They also are reputed to have a less rich flavor than the Hass variety. Again, perhaps, but this can be a good thing when you are inundated with them as we were. Their more neutral flavor make them an excellent base for smoothies and puddings. Holly’s chocolate avocado pudding is a HUGE hit at our house every avocado season. (see her recipe below!)
Now that we are back at our condo, I’m good without avocado for a bit. That said, I truly do appreciate the abundance here. I planted persimmon, figs, pomegranates, and blackberries in our yard in Texas and the output of ALL of them combined for a WHOLE YEAR didn’t come close to what we harvested at our friend’s place in the THREE WEEKS we were there. In addition to the avocado, we also gathered mangoes, grapefruit, Barbados cherries, and coconut during our stay.
And let’s not forget the bananas. We collected a colorful bounty of bananas of four different types while we were there. The first bunch we picked were what looked like slightly smaller versions of standard Cavendish bananas. Of course, since they were ripened on the tree, they were significantly more flavorful and likely more nutritious than what you typically find in the states. A few days later, we found some plump, ripe, and delicious apple bananas which are probably the most flavorful variety. Finally, near the end of our stay, we found a bunch of beautiful red bananas and my personal favorite, baby bananas.
What’s amazing to me is that all this (and much more!) is produced by the land without ANY human effort required. In general, there’s no need to water, fertilize, or apply pesticides. These plants just thrive here. The biggest challenge is harvesting some of the fruit that is very high or accessing trees that are perched on impossibly steep hillsides. We love the comfort and convenience of our condo, but I could definitely see us getting a little finca like this of our own at some point in the future.
I included Holly’s delicious Chocolate Avocado Pudding recipe and videos we took during our stay below:
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
- Blender or Food Processor
- 1 avocado (medium)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (or unsweetened coconut cream)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (or 1/2 cup coconut sugar)
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- Cut avocado in half, and remove the skin and seed
- Chop the avocado into large chunks and add to blender
- Add remaining ingredients to blender and process until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides of the blender if needed.
- Pudding can be eaten immediately or stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.