Hass to Pinkerton: Guide to South African Avo Varieties

Words: Robyn Paterson

Avocado season is upon us and we are all loading up on those healthy fats before they’re out of season again and start costing the price petrol. While we’re able to afford the good life, we thought we’d help you out with this guide to avo varieties. South Africa has amazing local avocados from all over the country, and it’s always good to know when they’re available and how to make the most of them.

Hass Avo

First grown in California by Rudolph Hass, Hass avos have three sub-categories – Lamb Hass, Maluma Hass and Hass. Across all sub-categories, Hass avos are available from March to November, making them a very popular option for commercial use as they are basically available all year-round. Lucky us!

avo varieties

They all share similar characteristics of hard, rough and pebbly skin that turns purple-black when ripe. Due to the hard skin, it’s not the easiest to tell when they are ripe, but the colour of the skin usually gives it away. All sub-categories have a creamy, nutty flavour.

Best in guacamole – Hass avos are very easy to scoop because of their hard shell and have a strong avo flavour. 


Fuerte avos are one of the most popular avo varieties. They are pear shaped and have smooth, green skin. Their flesh is usually bright green when ripe and they are very creamy with a milder flavour. They are in season from March to July. 

avo varieties

Did you know? Fuerte means ‘strong’ or ‘hardy’ in Spanish, and got their name from surviving the great freeze of 1913 in Los Angeles.

Best in smoothies and mousses – Fuerte avocados are extra creamy and will give your smoothies and healthy treats a mousse-like texture. 


Edranol avos have a green skin and are pear-shaped with a slight crooked neck towards the stem. They can often get some speckles or ‘russeting’ on the skin if grown in certain areas. They aren’t the easiest to peel as their thin skins tend to break off and shrivel as they ripen. Edranol avos are available from June to September. 

avo guacamole
avocado guide

Best in guacamole, sandwiches and salads – Edranol avos have a very strong nutty flavour and will be the star of your dish. 


Pinkerton avos are pear-shaped with an elongated neck, slightly pebbly and green skin. They have a small seed, so depending on their size, they will always yield a lot of creamy fruit. Pinkerton avos are available from April to July 

Pinkerton avos grow on potted, smaller trees, so if you have a small garden but want to grow your own avos, this is the best variety to try out.

hass varieties
SA Avo

Best in salads and sandwiches – similar to the Edranol avo, the Pinkerton has a strong flavour and creamy texture, so it should be the star of the show. 

Try out these delicious avo recipes and make the most out of the avo season!

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