Hurricane season often brings with it an accidental harvest of Bermuda avocados. Blown off trees by high winds, these local fruits are so prevalent that homeowners come out of the storm to find their yards absolutely littered with them. The tricky part is figuring out how to use them all before they’re overripe – a skill in itself – which is why locals usually give their surplus away to friends and neighbours by the bagful, just to ensure they don’t go to waste.

Bermuda avocados are not the same as the Hass avocados regularly found in grocery stores. They’re bigger and have a slightly milder flavour. Introduced to Bermuda in 1835, the avocado hails from the West Indies. It takes about three to four years to bear fruit from August through November. Because they are “self sterile,” the avocado is nearly impossible to pollinate without a nearby tree of the same variety. Ranging from fist-sized to simply gigantic, the alligator pear, as it is also known, often suffers from neglect.

If you find yourself with some Bermuda avocados either from your own harvest or a friend’s, here are some ways to enjoy them while you can.

  • For brunch, mash up avocado with chopped fresh herbs, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, black pepper or red pepper flakes and spread it on top of toast. Add a poached or scrambled egg if desired.
  • Pull out the blender and make a creamy avocado smoothie. (Don’t worry, it won’t taste like guacamole.) To the avocado, add frozen pineapple, frozen banana, spinach, lime juice and zest, a dash of maple syrup, and a splash of coconut milk.
  • Instead of guacamole, try avocado sauce instead. Blend an avocado, ½ c Greek yogurt, juice from one large lime, fresh cilantro, and ½ tsp kosher salt. This sauce, perfect for dipping, stays green in the refrigerator without special storage instructions.
  • And of course, avocados can add a twist to your usual fare. Smash them on burgers, add to salads, use as toppings for tacos and sandwiches, or simply slice and then sprinkle with salt and pepper to enjoy it on its own.