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Long Neck Avocados
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Long Neck avocados are large, elongated fruits, growing up to thirty-three centimeters in length. The semi, pear-shaped fruits have a rounded, bulbous non-stem end, connecting to a long and straight, narrow neck. The skin is smooth, thin, and glossy with a bright green hue when ripe. Underneath the surface, the flesh is yellow-green, thick, and creamy with high moisture content. There is also a cavity filled with an oval, brown seed or pit, which is considered to be small in comparison to the amount of edible flesh. When ripe, Long Neck avocados have a smooth, semi-buttery consistency with a savory, salty-sweet flavor.
Long Neck avocados are available in the mid to late summer in tropical regions around the world.
Long Neck avocados, botanically classified as Persea americana, is a general descriptor for multiple varieties of fruits with long, narrow necks belonging to the Lauraceae family. The most popular type of Long Neck avocado is known as the russell, which was a variety first grown in Southern Florida. There is also the pura vida avocado, which was discovered growing on a tree in a home garden in Nicaragua. The large fruits are favored for their thick flesh, savory flavor, and fast-ripening nature, and despite their unusual shape, the varieties are entirely natural and are not genetically modified. Long Neck avocados have a very limited season, adding to their rarity, and are specialty varieties only cultivated in home gardens and through rare fruit growers.
Long Neck avocados are an excellent source of fiber and vitamin K, which helps to create a protein within the body that assists in wound blood clotting. The fruits are also a good source of potassium, folate, and vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation.
Long Neck avocados are best suited for raw applications as the moisture-dense flesh is showcased when consumed fresh, out-of-hand. The flesh can be removed from the skin, sliced or cubed, and added to vegetable bowls, sandwiches, tacos, or salads. It can also be layered over sushi, smashed onto toast, used as a topping over chili, chopped into salsa, mashed into guacamole, or sliced, fried, and served as a crisp, creamy side dish. Long Neck avocados are suitable in any recipe calling for avocados. The large fruits pair well with fruits such as cucumbers, grapefruits, citrus, coconuts, mangos, and strawberries, balsamic vinegar, honey, tomatoes, corn, shrimp, smoked salmon, and pancetta. Whole Long Neck avocados can be stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight. Once ripe, the fruits can also be stored in the refrigerator for an additional 3-5 days.
Consumer habits are shifting from convenient, fast-food meals to specialized, plant-based eating. Veganism was one of the fastest-growing food trends in 2019, and through the use of social media, unique fruits and vegetables are being highlighted across platforms to inspire clean eating. In the fall of 2019, Long Neck avocados went viral when Miami Fruit posted a photo of the elongated fruit sliced in half. The post was seen around the world with news outlets, morning shows, and online publications showcasing the unusual variety. In 2020, Miami Fruit has continued to increase the fruit’s visibility by posting more photos and videos and is dedicated to shipping Long Neck avocados across the United States and Canada. On one of their posts, they also shared that a chef was able to make twelve avocado toasts from one Long Neck avocado.
Long Neck avocados are native to tropical regions around the world, including Florida, the Caribbean, and Central America, and have been growing wild since ancient times. The most popular variety, russell avocados, was first discovered in the Islamorada village, located in the Florida Keys. Despite their large size and elongated features, Long Neck avocados have not been selected for commercial cultivation and remain localized to their tropical home regions. The Long Neck avocados featured in the photograph above were grown by Miami Fruit in Florida.