The popularity contest between bacon and avocados would be a fierce one, with each side accumulating its own army of frenzied fanatics.
But in some lucky cases, you don’t have to choose – sort of.
The bacon avocado really does seem to have it all: The sweet tastes of avocado, and… well, at least the name of everyone’s favorite pork product.
Why Is It Called a Bacon Avocado?
On that note, we get to why the Bacon avocado is called the bacon avocado. And as it turns out, there’s not a breakfast plate in sight.
In fact, the fruity sensation was named after its creator: One mister James Bacon, a horticulturalist hailing from Buena Park, California, who patented the term in 1954. Mr. Bacon was the first person we know of to have the bright idea of mixing together the two different Mexican avocado varietals that eventually produced his now-eponymous creation.
And what a creation!
While the answer to the perennial question “Do Bacon avocados taste like bacon?” is a sadly flat “no,” the reality of the situation may be even better. Bacon avocados are famous for their nutty flavor, creamy light green-to-yellow flesh, and exceptionally easy-to-peel skin.
As it turns out, being ‘thin-skinned’ can actually count as a compliment sometimes! Although, that can make things a bit trickier for those waiting on that fabled window of time when an avocado reaches its perfect ripeness.
The Bacon avocado maintains its green skin throughout its life, so instead of relying on more common indicators like color, Bacon avocado enthusiasts must resort instead to their sense of touch, knowing when an avocado is ripe based on just the right amount of give with a soft squeeze.
What Type of Avocado is a Bacon Avocado?
This is where things get a bit more technical.
When it comes to avocados, there are two broader categories horticulturalists rely on: Type As and Type Bs. Perhaps fittingly, Bacons fall in the “B” variety.
That certainly doesn’t make it any lesser, however. The different types of avocados are simply sorted based on the way their trees flower.
All avocado trees enjoy a robust display of small yellow flowers in peak season, with those blossoms accounting for both the tree’s male and female characteristics. In the case of every tree, these flowers open for only two days, with the females staying open for just 2-to-4 hours each day, and the males staying open the entire second day.
Also in all cases, the males will produce, shed and spread pollen, fertilizing any female flowers that happened to still be open at the time.
The difference between Type A and Type B trees?
In Type As, the females get early starts—much like their Type A human counterparts—opening up during the morning. Type B trees have female flowers that prefer to sleep in, not opening until the afternoon.
In fact, the Type B status is where Bacon avocados inherit their thin skin. The trees are famous for producing fruits with this trait, as well as fruits with green skin, opposed to the darker purple or black hues Type A avocados tend to take on.
In either case, though, the cooperative effort in the avocado tree flowers has been noted for centuries. The fruits’ deep dependency on partnership in order to grow led to the avocado standing in as a symbol of love in ancient Aztec cultures, while in some more modern Mexican traditions, the fruit has been considered an aphrodisiac.
Where Do Bacon Avocados Grow?
As the child of two Mexican varietals, Bacon avocados tend to appreciate milder weather, and, like many of their avocado brethren, really thrive in mild climates and warm (but not too warm!) temperatures.
All of this to say: The Bacon avocado does particularly well in its native home of Southern California.
Indeed, the area of the country is perhaps the biggest producer in the world of this quirky avocado cultivar, making it a bit difficult to get a hold of Bacon avocados outside of a lucky SoCal farmer’s market expedition.
Still, the Bacon avocado does have a flair for surviving in slightly colder climates than many of its cousins, meaning the varietal can be happily grown as far north as San Francisco.
Leave it to California to concoct and grow the perfect brunch creation: Something that sounds—and tastes—like the best toast topper since sliced bread.