Know Your Avocado: The Zutano Avocado

by Avocado Buddy
Zutano Avocado

How to Identify a Zutano Avocado

The Zutano avocado is most similar to Fuerte avocados. It is pear-shaped and medium-sized (8-16 oz). It stays green even when ripe and has a relatively low-fat content. Because of that, it is easily identified by a subtle taste and fibrous consistency. It also makes its flesh a distinct pale green color.

Where to Find Zutano Avocados

The Zutano is an avocado cultivar first grown in 1926 in California. It is noted for its relatively high cold tolerance, consistent yield, and pollination advantages.

The main reason Zutano avocados are still being grown in their use as pollinators for Hass avocados. It is also being grown in regions of California where the winters are too cold for Hass avocados.

They are not very attractive commercially because they produce fairly bland tasting fruit. This has caused them to drop heavily in price through the years. Currently, most growers use them only to increase Hass yield. According to some producers, the cost of watering a Zutano tree outweighs the sales price of the fruit.

The Zutano grows medium-sized fruit, averaging between 8 and 16 ounces in weight. They are pear-shaped and green, even when ripe. They also have a pebbled texture, although less pronounced than a Hass.

Because it is low in fat (compared to other varieties) it is easy to identify by taste. It should taste significantly milder and have no nutty aftertaste. Some may taste a slight hint of a citrusy taste.

Because of the low fat content and subtle taste, this variety is best used in recipes that aren’t avocado-centered. Especially those that require sliced or diced avocados. This is especially true for avocado salads.

Step-by-step Identification

Below you can find step-by-step instructions on how to identify Zutano avocados. Keep in mind that some characteristics are shared with other varieties, but not all of them with the same ones.

The Price

The Zutano should be among the cheapest in the store. When it comes to price-per-pound they might be the cheapest ones. This is the easiest hint that you have a Zutano in front of you.

The Shape & Color

The Zutano is pear-shaped and has green somewhat bumpy skin. The bumps are waxy and smaller than on a Hass. It stays green even when ripe.

The Weight

Zutano avocados average around 8-16 ounces in weight. 

The Taste

The taste of this variety is noticably lighter and subtler than with other popular varieties. 

Peeling

Because of the low-fat content and the thinness of its skin, peeling a Zutano is hard.

Conclusion

The Zutano variety is not for everybody. It is hard to peel and has a light, subtle taste profile. For people used to the rich nutty taste of Hass or Hass-like varieties might be underwhelmed. However, if you always felt the usual avocado taste was a tad too much, then the Zutano might be your new favorite variety.

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