Courtesy Taste of HomeAh, avocados. When ripe, alligator pears are the perfect topper for toast or dip for a chip. (And they benefit your body in so many ways.) If you’ve found yourself scooping an armful into your shopping cart lately, you’re not alone (in case you need more of a reason to, here’s a science-backed reason to stock up). The bumpy-skinned fruit has seen a surge in popularity over the past decade. Today, Americans buy a whopping 4 billion avocados each year. Just imagine how much guacamole that would make!
Recently, food brand Welch’s (known for its grape juice and gummy snacks) jumped into the fanaticism for the fruit. The product? Frozen avocados. Yep, your fav fruit is now being peeled, chopped and quick-frozen in 2-pound pouches, sold nationwide. The brand states that its freezer-aisle product tastes as if the avocados were “just picked.”
Didn’t realize avocados could be frozen? These freezable foods may surprise you, too.
As an avocado aficionado (and, ahem, brunch-going millennial), I decided to put this claim to the test. A taste test, that is. I nabbed a pouch from the store and gave it a try. Here’s what you need to know.
Welch’s Frozen Avocado Review
Courtesy Taste of HomeWhen first examining this product, I was excited for a number of reasons. The packaging promised perfectly ripe avocados—something that’s certainly a feat to find fresh—that are hand-cut. (While we’re on the topic, here’s how to ripen an avocado in under ten minutes.) Ordinarily, fresh avocados have a small window for ripeness. Wait a day too long, and the firm green flesh turns a mushy brown. Also, a ready-peeled avocado means less time prepping! (Or so I thought.)
The package’s instructions read:
Place avocados on a plate and thaw at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes. For best flavor and texture, serve while still slightly frozen.
Hmm. Slightly frozen avocado doesn’t have the same allure as creamy, fresh fruit. I could hardly imagine layering Popsicle-like slices on a juicy burger or in our Southwest Hash. Nevertheless, I dumped some avocado into a bowl to defrost.
At First Glance
To my surprise, the avocado chunks retained their bright green hue. If you’ve ever placed sliced avocado in the fridge, you know that it turns brown quickly. The Taste of Home Test Kitchen taught me an easy trick to help keep avocados green: Squeeze lemon (or lime!) juice onto the flesh of the avocado before refrigerating.
I quickly checked the ingredient list on the back of the pouch to see if Welch’s used that same trick. Instead of lemon juice, the list included citric acid and ascorbic acid “to promote color retention.” Chemical-like ingredients always prompt a good Google session. Here’s the breakdown. Citric acid is the acid that occurs naturally in citrus fruits like lemons or limes. It’s often used as a preservative or to add a sour taste to sodas and food. And ascorbic acid? It’s another name for vitamin C. That doesn’t seem too bad after all! (Here are some other ways to keep your fruits and veggies fresh longer.)
The Taste Test
I’ll be honest. The plain chunks of frosty avocado did not seem especially appealing. (Especially to a gal with sensitive teeth!) But I forked one up for a bite. Instead of creamy avocado, this chilly fruit was cold and sour. And not candy-sour or even lemon-sour, but the acidic sour that sticks to your palate after you’ve had something that’s well, off.
For a while, I was in disbelief. I wanted so badly to love this product. I let the avocados defrost for 20 minutes longer, thinking the frozen texture had been a factor. I took another bite. Now it was slightly sour mush.
Takeaway: For me, the product on its own was a fail. I’d chance the ripeness of a fresh avocado any day to get the sour taste out of my mouth. However, in a last-ditch effort to make this product successful, I had another Hail Mary test.
The Toast Test
Enough salt, pepper and toast might save this avocado from complete catastrophe, I thought. I mashed the fruit and spread it on. The seasoning and carbs did make the avocado taste a tiny bit better, but it was still an inadequate imitation of the real thing. I imagine that layering enough ingredients on top might mask the sour taste of the frozen avocado, though. (Here’s why you should be eating more avocado toast.)
The Final Verdict
The answer was clear. Though Welch’s pre-peeled avocados are super convenient, the fruit tasted far too sour for my liking. I can see the product working well if blended into a fruit smoothie or thawed and sliced into my favorite Chunky Mango Guacamole recipe, as the citrus flavor wouldn’t be as noticeable. But for avocado toast in the near future, I’ll opt for fresh ingredients over frozen.