CHILEAN HASS AVOCADOS
The Origin of Avocados in Chile
The avocado is a fruit originally from Central America. However, it was the Incas of Peru who disseminated the species southward along the Pacific Coast from Colombia to Peru. The Incas named the fruit “palta” because it came from the province of Palta in Ecuador. Today, avocados are still known as “palta” in Peru, Argentina and Chile.
According to Hodgson (1959), the Spanish brought avocados to Chile from the coast of Peru, presumably at the beginning of the 17th century.
Approximately 20 varieties were then introduced to Chile from California in the 1930s, including Nabal, Queen, Mayapan, Fuerte, Mexícola, Carlsbad and Ryan.
These varieties were propagated by sowing seeds, or by grafting, and gave rise to a number of varieties that are still cultivated commercially and are known collectively as “palta chilena”.
In 1949, an innovative producer in the Quillota valley introduced the Hass variety, which has produced extremely high yields and is still in full production.