Stay up-to-date with all that's new at My-Island-Jamaica, Click Here to subscribe for my updates and don't miss a thing!

Jamaican Avocado
It's History, Cultivation & Major Health Benefits

Sharing Is Caring! Share this awesome content with your friends now.


New! For Authentic Jamaican products, from my very own handsvisit my Etsy store here.

Custom Search

jamaican avocadoJamaican Avocado (The Local Pear)

The Jamaican avocado is a large fruit with a single seed in the center of the family Lauraceae and is a close relative of Cinnamon and other aromatic trees.

For many of us though, Jamaican avocado, known locally as pear, is not just a sweet treat but a delicacy here, especially when we can't get enough out of season. But what do you know of it?

Let's take a look into what I'll call, the history of pear and how, and why, it has captured the taste buds of Jamaicans, home and abroad.

Watch!  See the real Jamaica in VIDEOS

Click Here to watch my latest videos on my fun YouTube channel - you'll love it!

From Whence Avocado Came?

Avocado is actually a native of Mexico, where it is believed to be first cultivated around 7,000 BC, and from there spread throughout the Americas.

It was later taken to Europe by the Spaniards. The Spanish term avocado was ‘substituted by “popular etymology” for Aztec ahuacatl . . . of which a nearer form in Spanish is aguacate’ , hence "alligator pear" in Jamaican usage.

Video! 9 Amazing Benefits Of Jamaican Avocados

Click Here to scroll down and watch it

Botany & Cultivation

The plant grows up to 15 m high and is common in cultivation up to 1,000m. Pear literally grows wild in Jamaica, though many varieties are also cultivated. The large seeds grow easily, though hybrids will not come true.

For The Love Of Pear

Jamaican avocado and bread meal

Pear is eaten here as a salad vegetable when ripe. It is most often peAeled and sliced lengthwise as an accompaniment to a meal.

Bulla, bread or bammy - with sliced ripe pear, is regarded as an especially delightful culinary combination here.

Two Jamaican proverbs attest to pear’s popularity:

  1. ‘Ripe pear nuh know danger till mout’ ketch ’im’

    and, in tribute to its popularity with cats:
  2. ‘Puss laugh when pear tree fall.’

Indeed, pear, which tends to fruit liberally, is also used to feed other animals, especially pigs.

Jamaican Avocado in the Charles Gordon Market, during a raining dayJamaican Avocado in the Charles Gordon Market, during a raining day

In the old days, avocado was known as ‘Midshipman’s Butter’ or ‘Subaltern‘s Butter‘, because it was such a good substitute for the real thing. Charles Rampini, an English visitor, recorded in his Letters from Jamaica (1873) an anecdote about an irascible old planter who nearly dismissed a bookkeeper on his estate for eating butter at breakfast during pear season, asserting that ‘a man who can do that . . . upon the wages I give him, cannot possibly be honest’.

Rampini, like Hans Sloane who visited in the 17th century, said pear was eaten as a fruit, mixed with sugar and wine (or lemons), a usage which does not persist in Jamaica today (though Brazilians and Filipinos do eat avocado sweet).

He also noted that the seeds contains a large amount of tannin, which could be used for the same purpose as indelible ink.

The Jamaican Avocado Season


During ‘pear season’, August to December, the markets are usually flooded with the fruit in every combination of shape and size - round, oval, pear-shaped, or the easily identified, ‘alligator’, which has a long neck.

The skin of the ripe pear is either green or deep purple to black, depending on variety, and may be highly smooth and shiny or rough and bumpy. The general appearance of the skin is not necessarily a good indicator of the texture and quality of the pear inside.

To judge the degree of ripeness of a green-skinned pear requires long practice. Usually, the skin loses much of its gloss and becomes duller; the tip of the fruit near the stem usually ripens first and light pressure there may be used as a test.

The flesh varies a great deal in depth and texture, thick, blemish-free ‘butter’ pear being held in the highest esteem.

Types Of Jamaican Avocados

As with Mangoes, there are pear ‘aristocrats’ and common pears, and so, the supply and price varying accordingly.

Alligator and Simmonds pears are usually expensive, and so are the commercial out-of-season varieties Lulu, Collinson and Winslowson, which ripen between December and February and so extend the traditional season.

Other Health Benefits Of Jamaican Avocado

Jamaican Avocado Benefits

Avocado has also been used in traditional medicine, the leaves are boiled to make tea thought to be ‘good for the blood’, as a lotion for colds, and as a drink for pains.

Jamaicans for centuries have also used avocado pulp as a skin softener and hair rinse, usages that now have found commercial applications by the international cosmetics industry!

You can read more on the health benefits of avocado at HealthLine (link).

It is also believed that Jamaican avocados is  ‘a great incentive to venery’,meaning has aphrodisiac properties.

Olive Senior, in her book, Encycopedia of Heritage Jamaica, recorded that, 'Edward Long was more explicit. The fruits, he said, were considered ‘great provocatives; and, for this reason, it is said, the Spaniards do not like to see their wives indulge too much in them’.

AND... I brag even more about my Jamaican avocados here :-)

Where To Buy Jamaican Avocados

If you are in Jamaica, just head to the nearest food market in town. As long as it is in season, expect to get it.

Outside of Jamaica though it might be bit more tricky since it is a perishable item. That said, if you are in the US, UK and Canada, there are usually Jamaican and Caribbean supermarkets that stocks them in season, check those first.

Outside of that, you can also check with Amazon as well. Not only do they have limited supplies from vendors, they also have many other stuff avocado. You can check their latest prices here.

New Video! Watch My Special Q&A Feature on Jamaican Avocado

which includes 9 amazing health benefits of Avocado!

You have received :-)
Now share you new found knowledge with your friends!

You might like these as well


  • Everything You Need to Know About Avocados,
  • 12 Proven Health Benefits of Avocado,
  • Olive Senior, Encyclopedia of Jamaican Heritage
  • Avocado,

Other Pages Related To The Jamaican Avocado

Return to Jamaican Food from The Jamaican Avocado
Return to My Island Jamaica from The Jamaican Avocado

Sharing IS Caring... Its now YOUR turn to...

If you found this page useful, please consider subscribing to my weekly newsletter, My Island Jamaica Digest here. 

It tells you each week about the new information that I have added, including new developments and great stories from lovers of Jamaica!

Back To The Top Of This Page

New! Talk To Me
Was the information helpful? Something needs changing? I welcome
your feedback here.

Read More ...


New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Recommended For You ...

Other Great Articles You Might Have Missed

Please help me get the message out by sharing this article with your friends on social media (links below). Thnx ;-)

And, one more way to share

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Also connect with on Social Media: 
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
Thank You!

P.S. Didn't find what you were looking for? Still need help?

Click Here to try our dependable and effective Site Search tool. It works!

Or, simply click here and here, to browse my library of over 500 questions and answers! Chances are someone already asked (and got an answer to) your question.

About The Author

wellesley gayle - booking link

A patriotic Jamaican who adore its culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.  

To date, he serves over 9,300 unique readers / viewers per day.

His efforts have earned this site featured positions in local publications, including the Jamaica Gleaner's Hospitality Jamaica, Carlong Publishers, as well as recognition from numerous prestigious international agencies and universities. Read more about him here.

He invites you to subscribe to this site to stay updated on all the latest and check out his unique Jamaican products on his Etsy store.  

If you are on social media, here are the links to follow his latest posts

You are also invited to join his exclusive JAMHearts community where like-minded Jamaican enthusiasts discuss all things Jamaican. 

Back To The Top Of This Page