|History & Origin
Avocado originates from Central Mexico. It is also known as Alligator pear due to it’s rough, leather-like skin of an alligator and it resembles a pear.
There are many varieties of avocado with their distinct shapes, sizes colours and flavours.
Hass Avocado – Available all year-round and has a rich flavor and creamy texture. It’s skin turns almost black when the avocado is ripe. This is the best variety by far for guacamole, but it turns a bit mushy in salads.
Fuerto Avocado – Florida Avocado – This is in season from late fall through spring. It’s not quite as buttery as the Hass avocado, but its flavour is excellent.
Reed Avocado – This rather large and roundish avocado slips easily from the peel, and has excellent flavour and texture. It will stay firm even when ripe, not a good choice for making guacamole.
The avocado has been known to contain higher fat content than most other fruit, mostly monounsaturated (which is a good fat). About 75% of the calories found in a single avocado fruit are actually monounsaturated fat.
This nutrient packed fruit contains nutrients such as vitamin A, several B-complex, powerful anti-oxidant like vitamin C and E, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, etc. It is rich in potassium and other essential minerals are iron and copper for the blood, phosphorus and magnesium.
The sodium content in avocados and its low sugar content and absence of starch makes it an ideal fruit for diabetics and hypoglycemics.
It is also one of the richest sources of fiber among all fruits and vegetables. . It has been proven to help lower cholesterol level and increase your immune system.
Did you know…… ?
The Aztec called the avocado tree, ‘Ahuacualt’ which translates to testicle tree because the fruits grows in pairs and resembles the testicles. Virgin girls were forbidden to go outside during the harvest of these fruits.
To check if an avocado is ripe, press it firmly but gently. If you can feel it yielding to the pressure, it is ripe.
The flesh is prone to enzymatic browning, it turns brown quickly after being exposed to air. To prevent this, squeeze some lime/lemon juice on it’s flesh.
Do not refrigerate avocado before it is ripe! But once ripe, it can be kept in the fridge for up to one week unsliced. And once sliced open, do not keep for more than a day in the fridge.
The fruit is not sweet, but fatty, and its flavor is very subtly. The flesh has a smooth almost creamy texture. It is used in both savory and sweet dishes. The avocado is very popular in vegetarian cuisine, as substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads because of its high fat content. Generally, avocado is served raw, though some kinds, including the common Hass, can be cooked for a short time without becoming bitter.
One of the many dishes that can be whipped up by this amazing fruit is the very well known Mexican dip; guacamole, used as a spread on corn tortillas or toast, served with spices.
In the Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam and South India, avocados are frequently used for milkshakes and occasionally added to ice cream and other desserts. In Brazil, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia, a dessert drink is made with sugar, milk or water, and pureed avocado.