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The Puebla avocado has a dark, almost black skin. The smooth, inky skin lacks any real texture and is, in fact, edible. Beneath the thin skin, Puebla avocados have a bright green, creamy flesh that is buttery-smooth and rich in flavor. Puebla avocados offer a nutty, earthy flavor with an underlying sweetness. The seed within the Puebla avocado is larger than the common Hass.
Puebla avocados are available in the early spring.
Puebla avocados are a small variety of avocado, closely related to the more well-known Hass. These dark-skinned avocados have been dwarfed by the popularity of other, heartier varieties and the number of trees in existence has dwindled. They were once considered the finest of all the Mexican avocados. The Puebla variety was one of a few varieties responsible for the thriving avocado industry that exists today in Southern California.
The smooth, buttery taste of the Puebla avocados makes a great guacamole, but can also stand alone on salads or sandwiches. Cut Puebla avocados lengthwise and remove the pit. Scoop out the flesh and spread on slices of toasted baguette and top with mango salsa for a crostini appetizer. Add slices to tostadas or tacos, or simply mash with fresh tomatoes, cilantro and onions.
In 1911, 21 year-old Carl Schmidt, an employee of the West Indian Nursery in Southern California, set off to find the best Mexican avocados with the hope of bringing samples back to the United States. He visited Puebla, a city eighty miles southeast of Mexico City and brought back to the United States what we know today as Puebla avocados. The trees flourished in the Southern California soil and were grown and sold mostly for local consumption. When the commercial market grew for avocados, the thicker skinned Hass avocados shipped better and had greater longevity than the Puebla. Puebla avocado trees were eventually replaced by heartier varieties, until wildfires in San Diego County decimated all but 10 trees. These few remaining trees have been boarded and protected; though some growers in the area are working on reestablishing the variety.