The best avocado in the universe—found

August 22, 2012 | By | Comments (7)

A Reed avocado (L) versus a Hass (Photographs by Tim Mar)

One of the great things about living in California is that every weekend trip to the farmer’s market is like a treasure hunt, for rare and mind-blowingly delicious varieties of stone fruits, Asian vegetables, you name it. A few weeks ago at the Alamany market in San Francisco, I felt like I had just found a dusty Georgia O’Keefe sketch at a yard sale. There, at the stall of my favorite citrus grower, from a farm in Riverside, was a bin that said “Reed Avocado.”

The Reed is the stuff of legend among Sunset’s food editors. It has nearly twice the fat of a standard Hass, I was told. It’s giantic, creamy, buttery, one food editor gushed to me, eyes rolling. Alas, the Reed also doesn’t travel well, and is rarely seen beyond Southern California. I quizzed the farmer. Yes, it was the Reed. No, they don’t have them often—one tree that produces enough for them to sell them one, maybe two weeks per year. I forked over my $4, nestled the gem carefully into my eco tote.

And, yes, the Reed lived up to the hype, to the point that I’m ready to go to L.A. just to Reed hunt at local markets. Or, if I get desperate enough, to order from ChefShop, a Seattle direct-from-farmer mail order company, basically like a broker of western food treasures.


  1. Inger Grape

    I bought some avocados at the health-food store that were called Bacon avocados — they were really delicious, and thin-skinned so they didn’t keep well.

    There’s another avocado I’ve seen in the supermarkets once in a rare while — no name is indicated. It looks like a Hass, but the skin is thinner and tends to stick a little to the flesh, which is particularly bright green, and very rich-tasting and yummy. The seed is small. If there is a bad spot, it seems to contain itself rather than starting to spread brown threads throughout the fruit. I wish I knew what it’s called — the perfect avocado.

    February 4, 2016 at 9:48 pm
  2. Shane Keener

    You should also try Macarthur avocados. They are a little easier to find, but very smooth and delicious. I haven’t seen them out of Southern California either.

    February 4, 2016 at 2:13 pm
  3. Loren Mooney

    Jennifer, can you ping me on twitter @lorenmooney when it’s harvest time. Seriously. I want in!

    September 13, 2012 at 9:14 am
  4. Jennifer

    I have this variety growing in my front yard in San Jose, CA. So…. we can work out a deal come harvest time.

    September 12, 2012 at 9:28 am
    • Aislyn Greene

      Ha, keep us posted. 🙂

      September 13, 2012 at 8:11 am
  5. Larry

    then you must be living under a rock my friend. sharwil’s form Hawaii will truly blow your mind and there so good the Calif. avo industry has kept them from being sold in the lower 48.
    They can weigh up to 1-3 lbs. or more and their highly prized by the chefs in Hawaii.
    Off the charts GREAT, way better than a Hass

    September 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm
    • Aislyn Greene

      Hey, thanks for the tip. We’ll have to check them out…

      September 13, 2012 at 8:11 am

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