Avocados: Nature’s Mayonnaise

Now that the holidays are nearly over, I can return this blog back to its righteous course: writing snarky commentary on various ingedients and cuisines, whilst trying to appear educated and worldly.

That being said, it’s now time to look at Avocados, the first food I’ve researched that has appeared to have been named after testicles.

I’ll let that sink in for a second or two before continuing.

The name “avocado” comes from the Aztec word ahuacatl, which was also their name for those special male bits. The name makes a bit of sense when looking at the fruit, and also when the hardened seed inside is considered. This may all be factually correct, but it has forever changed the way I’ll look at the produce section.

When the Spanish arrived upon the shores of what is now central Mexico, they couldn’t correctly pronounce the Aztec word and thus it was transmogrified to ” abogado” and then later “avocado”.

The avocado originated in Central America, where it was cultivated as many as 7,000 years ago. It was grown some 5,000 years ago in Mexico and, but the time of Christopher Columbus, had become a food as far south as Peru. The avocado was introduced to California in the 19th century, where it flourished. In the United States 95% of the avocados grown are grown in California, with 80% in San Diego County.

There are dozens of cultivars of avocados, with Hass tending to be the most popular here in the United States. Other cultivars include Bacon, Ettinger, Fuerte, Green Gold, Gwen, Kona Sharwil, Pinkerton, Reed, and Zutano. The cultivar Florida is larger and rounder fruit, with a smooth, medium-green skin, and a less fatty, firmer and fibrous flesh, and are occasionally marketed as low-calorie avocados.

Avocados do contain a fair amount of fat but the fat they contain is highly monounsaturated, the kind that’s associated with a healthy heart. Avocados are also rich in vitamin E and is a grat provider of potassium, supplying 60% more potassium than your average banana. Avocados are high in fiber, and provide substantial amounts of folate (folic acid), vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid.

So expect three Avocado recipes in the coming days, including, most assuredly, a recipe for guacamole.

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