Avocado Tour


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Last weekend I was invited by the California Avocado Commission on an Avocado Tour.

Many avocados

I was with about one dozen other Southern California bloggers.

We toured one of California’s leading avocado packing houses, West Pak.

Avocado factory overhead

We learned all sorts of avocado factoids. For instance, avocados aren’t picked ripe from the tree. They begin to ripen after they’re picked.

If you ever need to speed the ripening process of an avocado, put it in a brown paper bag on the counter with a banana or an apple, and that should speed things up. And don’t try to ripen avocados in the refrigerator; it won’t happen.

Hass Avocados 5 stages of ripeness poster

We also learned that California avocados are hand-grown by nearly 5,000 growers.

The growers take such pride in their crops and are committed to growing avocados of the highest quality.


I didn’t know that California produces about 90 percent of the nation’s avocado crop.

It was fun to see all those avocados rollin’ down the river before being boxed for up for their next stop: grocery stores.

Avocados on assembly line

You know you’re hanging out with bloggers when everyone has their cameras, iPhones, DSLRs, and Flip cameras at the ready.

As bloggers, we even double fist. My camera was over my neck and my iPhone was in my hand. The KitchenAid event was the same way. I love it.

Greg and Rachael in action about to capture the perfect shot of rolling avocados.

People in hairnets videoing avocados

There was also a grove tour with an avocado growner and a lunch showcasing the versatility and flavor of fresh California avocados.

It was fun to see behind-the-scenes glimpses of the farm-to-fork journey of avocados and also catch up with some of my favorite SoCal bloggers.

Avocado halves

Here are a few of my favorite avocado recipes, just in time for Cinco de Mayo:

Avocado, Cream Cheese, and Salsa-Stuffed Puff Pastries (with a vegan option)

Open Avocado, Cream Cheese, and Salsa-Stuffed Puff Pastries

Warm avocado, with melted cream cheese, flavored with two kinds of salsa.

Just a touch of sweet from the mango salsa, and a kick from the green salsa verde, work well with avocados.

Avocado, Cream Cheese, and Salsa-Stuffed Puff Pastries

Vanilla Avocado Banana Ice Cream (Raw, Vegan, GF) Rich, creamy, sweet, and very ice cream-like.

People write to me frequently telling me how much they love this healthier recipe for “ice cream” and that it doesn’t taste like avocados.

Vanilla Avocado Banana Ice Cream

Cheater’s Guacamole

3 minute recipe. No veggie, onion, or garlic chopping required.

Guacamole on chips

Vanilla Avocado Banana Smoothie in a Bowl

Sweet, creamy, pudding-like. Or thin it out a bit more and drink it with a straw like a smoothie.

Vanilla Avocado Banana Smoothie in a Bowl

Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse (Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free)

This recipe takes 2 minutes to make and when I bring it to a party, no one ever guesses what the secret ingredient is, and it’s instantly devoured.

Raw Vegan Chocolate MousseRaw Vegan Chocolate Mousse

People tell me they prefer it to traditional chocolate mousse made with cream, sugar, boiling and baking.

I’m all about the easier, tastier alternatives.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse

As part of the tour, we were each given five avocados in a goodie bag to take home.

I’ve been enjoying them.

Avocado half


Have you ever been on a farm tour, factory tour, or fun field trip?

It had been years since I did anything like this.

I’m thinking middle school and taking a trip to the fire station. This field trip trumped that one by just a wee bit.

Do you like avocados? What’s your favorite way to eat them?

Thanks for the Kitchen Knives Giveaway entries

Leave a Comment

Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.


  1. Your tour sounds like a great experience! Makes me want some avocados, yum yum yum. My favorite way to eat avocado is this- 1 bagel sliced in half spread with a thin layer of cream cheese with thick avocado slices on top sprinkled with salt (I like to do the same thing with tomatoes) SO SIMPLE SO GOOD! I recently came up with another favorite- avocado mashed with salsa stuffed inside a tortilla.

    The last tour I went on was at the Cape Cod Potato Chip company and was probably close to 10 years ago. It was neat to see and even better to go home with a couple of bags of chips to snack on.

    1. Your bagel idea sounds good and I do the mashed avo/salsa in a tortilla all the time, actually. So good!

  2. how fun! – i loveee avocados and definitely don’t eat enough of them. Time to bring them back into my diet.

  3. very neat opportunity, I would love a tour like this. After years of despising avocados I literally woke up one day craving one and have been in love since. all it took at first was a little sea salt to fall in love. I eat probably 2 a week now and don’t see that changing anytime soon!

    1. Given how you eat, your overall dietary path and just what I sense your preferred flavor palette is, I can see avocados being right up there for you!

  4. You already know my stance on them LOL. One day I swear I’m going to like them!

    1. Hey, not every thing is for every person. I hate garlic and onions and people are always shocked when I tell them.

  5. I don’t even know where to begin! This just might be one of my fav posts. Looooove avocados. Your photography is just stunning! They are so crisp. I can’t believe I haven’t made your avocado banana ice cream yet…looks right up my alley. I think I will make it this weekend for a treat.

    1. Stunning photography? Well, thank you..I actually was thinking the exact opposite of stunning. As in harsh and reallllllly hard to photograph. We were in a fluorescent-lit-yet-dark-in-parts warehouse and let’s just say, 100% artificial lighting lends nothing to photography :) Thank you for the sweet comment and compliments :)

      1. Ah you are too hard on yourself! ;)

        I used to hate avocados like many other commenters. All it took was a trip to Mexico to taste the best guac Ive ever had…I never looked back.

  6. 90%? Wow, that’s awesome! I’m totally going to use that fact. Thanks for sharing the tour with us :)

    1. Thanks to me, your random factoid of the day has been fulfilled. Meant to reply yesterday re your $20 monthly fabric store “allowance”…love that :)

      1. oh my goodness, there needs to be an allowance. Those places are dangerous!!!

  7. You are a lucky lady, getting to go on such a great tour! Looks like a fun time. I love avocados! They’re perfect in guac, sliced over tacos, or blended creamy into pasta sauce. Thanks for sharing.

  8. An avocado tour?? sounds like my version of HEAVEN! Or maybe that would be a peanut butter tour…

    i love all your avocado recipes, Averie! i have a go-to mango guacamole recipe I use pretty often. in fact, i’ll be making it tomorrow for cinco de mayo! it’s SO good. I need to try your avocado mousse recipe sometime! I’m intrigued :)

    Happy Friday!

  9. That tour sounds like so much fun! I feel like it’s important to know where your food comes from; seeing the source and meeting the farmers always makes me feel a little more comfortable buying produce (which is why it’s important to buy local!)
    The groves looked so beautiful from the video. Sounds like you had a great time :)

    1. It was a great time and in SoCal we are so blessed that for the most part, we can eat locally year round. Now, I may not really “love” the local food available in December but at least we have it compared to say upstate New York or North Dakota where there is nothing growing!

  10. I couldn’t think of any other way I’d prefer to spend my weekend than by staring at some bright green avocados!
    Lately I’ve been trying to include more healthy fats in my diet, so naturally avocados were the first thing I started eating more of. With that said, I have a very special appreciation for this post and those recipes! Thanks for posting, Averie :)

  11. I LOVE avocados in most everything, but my dad’s guacamole hand-made in his “molcajete” has to be my fave. I’m glad that they take such pride in them down in CA, cause I recently read the CA avocados are actually quite different from the ones grown in FL…who knew?! They have 20% fewer calories, 13% less fat, 60% less carbs, and a much more sifnificant source of eye-healthy carotenoids. Crazy. Can’t wait to try these recipes, thanks for sharing!

    1. There are many varieties of avocados and I’m sure certain varieties are more common to one region and vice versa. You have great little factoids, there!

  12. What an awesome place to visit! I love, love, love avocado and have been eating a WHOLE one every day this week. They’re on sale for .99 cents, which is half price here in NY. Good tip about ripening them quicker! I knew that about bananas, didn’t know it also works for avocados. Neat! I will try it. :)

    1. That’s a good price for sure. Even at their cheapest, they’re usually about $1 a piece here. Sometimes they’ll be slightly less but not usually…and sometimes much more based on the season. Yes even on the countertop NEXT to bananas, my avos get pretty ripe in a hurry. I need to sometimes keep the bananas away from them…LOL

  13. That looks like a fun day! I love avocados and don’t live anywhere near land that can grow this fruit, but I would love to go see the process myself someday! I would probably try and fill my pockets with avocados lol