Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Alligator Pear

This California girl couldn't pass up a sign like this, seen on Highway 41 just east of Morro Bay.


Avocados are one of my favorite fruits but good ones are not easy to find. 
They are sometimes called "Alligator Pears" and like many true pears they ripen off the tree.  Perhaps some commercial growers pick them too early, before they are fully mature or they are improperly handled after picking.  Whatever the reason, the ones in the super market often lack flavor or show signs of rot.
They are picky about growing conditions, they don't like it too hot and are susceptible to freeze and frost damage.   Many of the trees we drove past showed such damage due to an unusual cold snap.  The coastal areas of California, south of Big Sur are the best growing areas.
Another interesting fact is why most cultivars are not self fruitful.  "A" cultivars open in the morning of the first day of bloom as female, close mid-day and open the next day in the afternoon as male.  "B" cultivars are female in the afternoon of the first day of bloom and male in the morning.  Thus they can not pollinate themselves



The avocado ranch had a little store with perfectly ripe and soon to ripen avocados.  They were delicious.  They also sold a variety of gourmet items such as avocado oil (it has a very high smoke point), balsamic vinegar, salsas, chips and dipping oil.  I bought a habanero  salsa that son Eric found to be adequately hot and quickly devoured.  I now have yet another reason to visit Morro Bay.

Linked to Signs, Signs, hosted for us by Lesley.

15 comments:

Sylvia K said...

I do love avocados!! One of my favorites! Interesting info, Martha, and a great post/photos for the day! Hope your week is going well!

Lesley said...

the only avocados we get here, this far north, are from your state and not always the tastiest by the time they reach us.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

You have me drooling with envy Martha. I would love t visit that avocado ranch. Just like tomatoes, the ones in the supermarket are usually just tasteless.

ewok1993 said...

I have one tree in the backyard, it's probably 2-3 years old and I just hope it grows so I can have avocados in my backyard.

RedPat said...

i love them too- would be there in a flash!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Saying I love avocados is an understatment. Good ones are hard to find though.

Jim said...

Great sign.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Luna Miranda said...

i grew up with a huge avocado at the backyard--but i never like the fruit. when i was in my teens, i made avocado facial mask and my mom went crazy because it was all over the pillows the next morning!*lol*

great sign--love the font.

Signs

Tanya Breese said...

funny, i've never heard them called that before! i love avocados and will just cut one in half, sprinkle salt on it and it it right out of the peel with a spoon, yum! my husband's grandmother had an avocado tree, they were the best!

EG CameraGirl said...

I do like avocados very much but I suspect I may not have ever tasted one as good as the ones you have.

Diane AZ said...

I love to eat avocados and I also love the nice big leaves on the trees, though I haven't tried to grow any here in the desert. Alligator Pear is a good name!

Linda Reeder said...

Interesting facts about avocados! I love them too.

Judy said...

It would be heavenly to have fresh avocadoes...
Another reason to go south and find some!!

Linda said...

Hi Martha, I love avocados! I agree that good ones are hard to find.

katney said...

When I was growing up, we had an acre of avocados. We had a few trees that were very high and sometimes had fruit that could not be reached for harvest. Those were mine. I watched them daily, and when they finally fell, I would find them in the floor of the grove and make an avocado sandwich. Yum! We had varieties that you don't find in the stores. I always have wondered what was done with them when we sold them to the processors.