Avocados were presented to Europeans in the 16th century by Spanish explorers when they returned from Central America, where the avocado was first cultivated. As of 2010, the United States led the world in commercial avocado production.
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Southern California grows approximately 80 percent of the country’s avocados, with year-round availability.
Avocados grown in Florida are only available from July through February due to unstable and unpredictable weather conditions during the other four months.
Florida-grown avocados are normally about twice as big as those grown in California. However, based on the creamy flesh and distinctive nutty flavor of the California variety, Florida types are much less costly but have the advantage of being lower in calories than their California counterparts.
California avocados come from strains that originated in Guatemala and Mexico. Florida avocados originally came from the West Indies. Neither variety thrives well in conditions or soils that are not indigenous to each state respectively.
At least 24 varieties of avocado are commercially cultivated in the United States. They range in weight from several ounces to nearly 3 pounds.