There is more to avocados than Hass, and cool-weather avocados give them a run for their money in terms of texture and flavor

The popular Hass avocado takes about three months off each year, from November through January, and when it’s unavailable, some lesser-known varieties take center stage.

Here are our favorite winter avocado varieties that we hope you’ll take for a spin on your next avocado toast, or in a bowl of our favorite cold-weather guacamole.

Avocado Varieties

Bacon
Bacon avocados are oval-shaped with smooth, thin skin that remains green even when ripe. The flesh is a pale yellow-green, with a buttery, creamy texture albeit less oily than a Hass.

Find them at California markets from November through March.

Avocado Varieties

Fuerte
Considered by many to be the best tasting avocado, Fuerte avocados are perfect for winter guacamole when Hass are not available (and even when they are).

Pear-shaped with smooth, easy-to-peel skin and a dense pale green flesh, Fuertes are oily with a rich, creamy flavor that has notes of hazelnut.

Fuertes are available from November – June.

Avocado Varieties

Pinkerton
Pinkerton avocados have an elongated pear shape with green, slightly pebbled, easy-to-peel skin. Their flesh is smooth and creamy with a high  oil content and nutty, rich flavor. As an added bonus, Pinkertons have a very small seed.

Pick up Pinkertons from December – April.

Avocado Varieties

Hass
A long growing season and thick, durable skin that can withstand long trips to markets around the world have made Hass avocados the benchmark for many. It doesn’t hurt that the light lime green and yellow flesh is oily, creamy and delicious.

In California, Hass avocados are available February through October.

Choosing the perfect avocado

Avocados soften off the tree, and the process can take from a few days to a week. For the best tasting avocados we recommend that you buy straight from the farmer, and leaning on and their highly educated market assistants to help you pick the perfect avocado is highly recommended! Let them know when you’re going to use the avocado; today, tomorrow, three days from now, or perhaps you need one for every day of the week! And they are sure to hand you exactly what you need.

If you don’t have the trusted help of your local farmer, you can pick a ripe avocado by holding it in the palm of your hand and gently squeezing it with all of your fingers. If the flesh gives with slight pressure, it is ready to use!

Never press an avocado with your thumb. It results in discoloration and bruised spots on the flesh, and if you’re not the one who ends up buying that avocado, it’s kinda rude to pass on the bruises to an unknowing fellow shopper. Maintain good avocado karma by using the ‘whole hand’ method or asking a pro for help.