You already know that there are many varieties of avocado. The Hass is most popular, and the Fuerte is still found here and there. A variety that is less talked about is the Mexicola avocado. So, how to identify Mexicola avocados?
The Mexicola avocado fruit has smooth, thin skin. It is black when ripe. It is smaller in size and pear-like or roundish in shape. The best way of identifying one is to compare it to the Hass in terms of size, shape, and skin texture.
Let’s start with the most general and work towards the specifics. First off, there are three distinct sorts of avocados. From them, all other varieties have been created. This is possible because all the different types allow for cross-pollination. Those three varieties are subspecies of the Persea Americana Mill. They are the Mexican avocado, the Guatemalan avocado, and the West Indies avocado.
The Mexicola avocado is a cultivar of the Mexican variety. It was cultivated by selective breeding and cross-pollination in Pasadena, California in 1912. It was selected mostly for its hardiness. Namely, the Mexicola cultivar is one of the few avocado varieties that can survive extremely low temperatures. Reports of its surviving temperatures as low as 17°F are numerous. The same is true for its heat resistance, but avocados are generally well adapted to heat.
The cold resistance allows it to be kept in climates with relatively cold winters. This is especially interesting to the people who live in more temperate regions. If you live in an area that has hot summers, with lots of rainfall, but also cold winters without much snow, then this variety will work best for you. Other varieties are only adapted to Mediterranean and tropical climates.
Beyond this peculiarity, the Mexicola is special in other characteristics as well. Namely, one of those unique properties is that its skin is edible. As weird as it may seem, you can bite right into a Mexicola avocado as if it was a pear. The skin has an anise-like taste and is peculiarly thin.
Another quality the Mexicola boasts is edible leaves. Dried Mexicola avocado leaves are used in some Mexican dishes as a flavoring, and their anise-like taste mixes well with peppers and garlic. Conversely, other avocados have slightly poisonous leaves.
Avocados have perfect flowers. This means that they have both male and female parts in each flower. There are, however, two types of avocado varieties based on their flowering phases. They are called “A” and “B” flower types. Mexicola has an “A” flower type. This means that its flowers open as female on the morning of the first day. It then closes in the early afternoon until the afternoon of the second day. Then it opens as male.
When we talk about how to identify Mexicola avocados we can talk about the tree first. It grows erect or spreading with a low canopy. That canopy is then oval, rounded or umbrella-shaped. It’s relatively low to the ground and has dense foliage to protect it from heat and frost.
Its foliage is evergreen. It grows to about 35-40 feet tall and spreads to about 20-30 feet in width. It’s a medium-height tree with a low canopy. It can take anywhere from 3 to 7 years for the tree to start producing fruit. It mostly depends on soil quality, fertilization, and irrigation.
Its longevity is from about 50 to around 150 years. Its leaves are oblong to ovate, dark green, and fleshy. As mentioned previously, it has perfect flowers. That is, it has both male and female parts in each flower which makes pollination easier. Finally, its bark is light gray and stretches the span from furrowed to smooth.
If you are less interested in how to identify Mexicola avocado trees, then we can talk about the fruit. The Mexicola avocado fruit can be described relative to the Hass, which is the more popular variety. Relative to the Hass, the Mexicola is slightly smaller. That is, it grows to around 3 inches. The Hass is usually between 4 and 6 inches. The Mexicola also has a larger seed as opposed to the medium-sized pit of the Hass.
This is one of the reasons the Mexicola isn’t viable in mass-production. It delivers less fruit-flesh per fruit. However, if you have your own tree it usually grows a larger number of smaller fruits.
The skin of the avocado is perhaps the best sign that you are dealing with a Mexicola. Its skin is incredibly thin, easy to peel and smooth. A regular Hass avocado is usually pebbled, has medium skin thickness and is a bit harder to peel. The Mexicola is also black when ripe.
The Mexicola makes up what it lacks in size with exquisite taste. It is often used for producing avocado oil as well. It has around 20% oil content. Its taste is described as buttery, smooth and nutty.