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Miami Avocados 

By  Alexis Martin

Today my sister-in-law came by with an avocado. It is my favorite variety, known as Catalina. This avocado measured 8 inches long, not your typical store-bought avocado. If anything, this variety of avocado is a giant compared to your regular Hass Avocado (commercialized variety in the US).

Not all avocado is created equal.

Did you know they are over 500 avocados varieties in the world? In the US these are mainly the eight types commercially grown.

Bacon
Fuerte
Gwen
Hass
Lamb
Hass
Pinkerton
Reed
Zutano


But if you live in South Florida, then it’s a different story! Just like with coffee, shirts, and sandwiches. We got our own thing going on with avocados! Miami Avocados: We have a unique connection to Cuban and the islands; therefore, this reflects our food and fruits such as avocados.

Miami Avocados

Miami Avocados - Source: Pine Island Nursery


Miami Avocados from Cuba

The Catalina variety comes from Cuba. What makes this avocado variety so unique besides its size is its color, consistency, and flavor. This avocado is very creamy and light but with a distinctive flavor. I remember these flavors as a kid growing up in Cuba. My story here. I knew there were many different avocados in Cuba, but I had no idea of the magnitude. I learned they are at least 23 avocados cultivars of commercial interest in Cuba. I had created a list of these famous cultivars and their Cuban place of origin.

Avocados cultivars of Cuban origin.

ACOSTA(West
Indian) Tree originated ner Santiago de las Vegas, Cuba, propagated 1910.
Fruit season, Dec. in Cuba. Color, green; size, 20-24 ozs; shape, pyriform;
seed size, large. (CAS Yearbook 1950)
ARANGOSyn.
Cor. Raul Arango Tree Cuba listed in 1917. Fruit season June-Sept. in Cuba.
Weight up to 7 lbs. Shape, oval. Flavor, excellent. (CAS Yearbook 1950)
BARTLETT(W.I.)
P.I.40978 Buds introduced 1915 by F.W.Popenoe from Placetas, Cuba. Fruit
season, 2 seasons at Placetas July, Aug. & Dec. Color, green; size,
4″ long & 3″ broad; shape, broadly pyriform; skin, smooth,
seed, size medium. (CAS Yearbook 1950)
CATALINAOrig.
in Cuba. West Indian type. Fruit: large, 18 to 26 oz; skin light green,
smooth, glossy, thick; seed small, loose in cavity. Flowering group A; minor
commercial cultivar in Florida. (B&O Register) Origin, Cuba; Race, W.I.;
Flowering group A (Lahav & Gazit)
DON
CARLOS
(W.I.)
40979 Tree introduced 1915 by F.W. Popenoe USDA from near Placetas, Cuba.
Fruit color, light green; size, small; shape, spherical; quality, good. Seed,
very small. (CAS Yearbook 1950)
EARLY(W.I.)
Florida Syn. of Cuban Early. Mentioned in FL. Exp. Sta. Press bulletin 244,
1916. No longer propagated. (CAS Yearbook 1950)
GOMEZCuban A
Cuban variety listed in 1917. Fruit season, Dec.-Jan.; size, large; quality,
good. (CAS Yearbook 1950)
GUADALUPE(W.I.)
P.I. 40989 Introduced 1915 by F.W. Popenoe USDA from near Placetas, Cuba.
Fruit season, Sept.; color, gren; weight 12-14 ozs.; shape, broad pyriform.
Seed, medium. (CAS Yearbook 1950)
HERNANDEZ(W.I.)
(Syn. Manuel) Cuba Originated in 1916 in Santiago de las Vegas, Cuba. Fruit
season, Nov.-Dec.; color, green; weight, 24-30 ozs.; shape, pyriform. Seed,
medium. (CAS Yearbook 1950) Origin, Puerto Rico; Race, WI; Flowering group, A
(Lahav & Gazit)
LUISA(W.I.)
P.I. 40912 Introduced 1915 by F.W. Popenoe USDA, from Jovellanos, Cuba. Fruit
color green; shape, broad, ovoid. Seed. medium. (CAS Yearbook 1950)
MACEO(Syn.
Mayor Gral Antonio Maceo) Cuba A Cuban variety listed in 1917. Fruit season,
Oct.-Dec.; size medium; shape, oval; flavor, excellent. (CAS Yearbook 1950)
MERCED(W.I.)
P.I. 40981 Introduced 1915 by F.W. Popenoe USDA, from Placetas, Cuba. Fruit
color, green; weight, 16 ozs.; shape, broad pyriform; flavor, excellent. (CAS
Yearbook 1950)
RUSSELL(W.I.)FL
Originated Islamorado,FL from seed of fruit brought from Cuba by John Russel
& planted near his home about1880. Top-worked by Harvey Fitzpatrick,
Homestead, FL in 1935, shortly before parent tree was destroyed by a
hurricane. Fruit: season, Aug.-Sept.; color, green; weight, 24-36 ozs.;
shape, clavate; skin, smooth, leathery. Seed, med. Sometimes solid neck of
flesh 5-6″ long.(CAS Yearbook 1950) Orig. in Islamorado, FL by John
Russell. Introd. in 1935. Seedling of West Ind. type from seed of fruit brought
from Cuba about 1880. Fruit: large, 24-36 oz; often 12″long; clavate;
skin green, smooth, leathery; flesh yellow; seed size med.; cavity low in the
broad end of fruit, often a solid neck of flesh 5-6″long;season
Aug.&Sept.Tree: vigorous; moderately productive. Flower group A. Not
propagated commercially.(B&O Register) Origin, CA; Race, WI; Flower, A
(Lahav & Gazit) (originated in Islamorada in FL Keys); pear-shaped at
apex with long neck giving it a total length up to 13″(32.5cm); skin,
smooth, glossy, thin, leathery; flesh of excellent quality; seed small.
Season: Aug.&Sept.Tree bears well & is recommended for home gardens.
(J Morton)
SANTA
ANNA
(W.I.) Cuba Originated near Santiago de las Vegas,
Cuba, propagated 1916. Fruit:
season, Oct.- Dec.; color, green; weight, 30-38 ozs.; shape, pyriform. Seed,
small. (CAS Yearbook 1950)
VEGAPhilippines
Introduced 1906 from Cuba to Philippines. A regular but shy bearer. Fruit:
season, Sept.; color, green; weight, 10-17 ozs.; shape, obovoid; skin, rough,
glossy; flavor, good; fiber, few traces. Seed, large. (CAS Yearbook 1950)
Origin, Cuba; Flowering group, A (Lahav & Gazit)
WILSON(W.I.)
P.I. 40982 Introduced 1915 by F.W. Popenoe USDA, form Joaquin Wilson near
Placetas, Cuba. Fruit: color, green; weight, 8-10 ozs.; shape, spherical.
Seed, small. (CAS Yearbook 1950) Origin, Cuba; Race, WI; Flowering group, A
(Lahav & Gazit)

You may learn more about avocados here: http://www.avocadosource.com/

This is not the complete list, yet its impressive the number of varieties of avocados Cubans can enjoy. The Cuban avocado production its not as commercial but more of a local amateur based production. When visiting a local market in Cuba one can find the avocados offer at the improvised markets all around each caring its own local favorite variety.

Alexis Martin


I'm a first-generation Cuban immigrant. I have a passion for everything Cuba. I love to share our culture and my expertise in the world-famous Guayabera Shirt. On December 18, 2002, I sold my first Cuban Guayabera shirt online. I fell in love with the process and the fact that this is a business, you always have to be willing to learn. Many things have changed since then, new software services, new concepts. At Mycubanstore.com, we had been able to ride different market waves. We are always humbled and grateful for this privilege of building a future in this great country.

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