The Dominican Republic is home to the biggest avocado connoisseurs on the planet. While most of the world only eats the Hass variety, we Dominicans eat more than 20 different varieties! Our country is the second largest producer of avocados, yet 14 countries export more avocados than we do. Mainly because we like to keep them for ourselves!
Hass avocados with its thicker skin travel well, but if you have only eaten this commonly exported variety, be prepared for a new culinary experience with our family-sized tropical avocado. This thin skinned, tender fleshed, savory fruit is grown in the majestic, green mountains of our vibrant Caribbean island. In addition to bearing fruit, these avocado trees often serve as a shade trees for coffee and cocoa plants for which we are also globally famous.
Dominican avocados have a much lower environmental footprint than the Hass avocado produced in other countries. Deforestation for Hass avocado plantations in Mexico and excessive water use in the major Hass production areas of California, Mexico, Peru, and Chile represent serious environmental challenges. Our avocados are produced with rainfall only and there is no deforestation associated with their production.
Christopher Columbus and his sailors first called our avocados “butter pears,” and they became the first European consumers of the now famous avocado-toast 500 years before it became the fad it is today. If you ask us how many times a week we eat avocado, the answer could easily be five or even seven! Avocados are readily available on a whim and are even sold by the handful at traffic intersections. A significant part of the Dominican neighborhood ambience is marked by the sound of ambling street hawkers trying to sell their avocados. Because of their commodity, Dominican consumers are experts at judging the ripeness of each fruit.
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The 20 Dominican varieties are produced year-round by more than 15,000 small farmers, who reside in many different climate zones of the country. There are many subtle taste and texture possibilities for each day’s luncheon avocado because of the variety. Many of us fondly remember the taste of avocados from a particular tree on our grandfather’s farm or from the avocado shade tree at the house we grew up in.
Avocados need to mature on the tree but ripen after they are picked. We are experts at judging the sheen of greenness of the avocado to determine the maturity on the tree as well as judging how many days to ripeness after it has been picked. Any visit to the countryside, even to stop at a stranger’s house for directions, often results in a gift of avocados.
Try a Dominican Tropical avocado as a diced salad garnish, as a spread on your toast, or alone as a vegetable side dish, and find out the secret to our traditions, folklore, and happiness. We are as proud of our avocados as we are of the other things we with the world – our expansive beaches, renowned rum, rich cocoa, merengue and bachata music, along with world-class talented baseball players.
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You can get our top avocados from:
Myrell Gonzalez, Grupo 33: email@example.com
Eliot Ortiz, Ely Import R Export: firstname.lastname@example.org
Freimer Romero, Agrocluster del Caribe: email@example.com
Raul Reyes, AMR Agro: firstname.lastname@example.org
For information about suppliers, contact Peggy Aviotti, market linkages facilitator, Exporting Quality Program (email@example.com)