South Africans love avocados and so does the rest of the world. There have been so many documentaries that aim to understand why the world can’t get enough of them.
We have seen stories about avocado cartels. There’s always something new and interesting about the fruit that many are calling “green gold”.
In this article, we will look into avozillas, giant avocados that have their roots in South Africa.
As much as avozillas are known to be grown in SA, in 2018, the Independent UK reported that Australian business Grove’s Grown Tropical Fruits were cultivating the bright green fruit, and according to recent reports, they are going on sale at Tesco stores this week.
The avozillas were planted six years ago and farmers expected big avocados but never predicted they would be as big as 2kg. Their average size is between 1kg and 2kg which is more than enough for a few slices on toast for a whole table to share.
You will ask yourself, how come they are grown in SA but not yet available in the country; when will we be able to import the fruit which we initially exported, and where in SA are they grown?
According to Iinfo Tzaneen, a blog by Marinda Thomas, a Westfalia farmer found the feral mother-tree growing in the lush natural forest around Modjadjiskloof in Limpopo.
Thomas says avocados have three races (subspecies). That the West Indian race of avocados does grow especially large, but the fruit is typically watery and slightly sweet, and that the Guatemalan race has the typical buttery, nutty taste to which most consumers are accustomed, and avozilla is a cross between the two races, meaning the eating quality is superior to the typical “butter pear” (a pure West Indian variety) and it is also more disease resistant.
She says that Westfalia fruit had recently trademarked “Avozilla” for its range of giant avocados, so this publicity is not just a flash in the pan – the market will be seeing more of avozilla and its relatives in the future. Unfortunately, these trees are not available for commercial sale and volumes of fruit are also very limited at this stage.
Thomas adds that there are very few avozilla trees at this stage, and based on the considerable interest shown in these mammoth fruits, Westfalia will be planting additional trees to supply more fruit soon.