WHAT IS AN AVOCADO?
This member of the berry family is actually a fruit! It comes in a variety of shapes (pear to round) and colors (green to black). They can weigh anywhere from a few ounces (few hundred grams) to several pounds (over a kilo). The avocado’s nickname is the alligator pear due to its bumpy skin. Originally from Mexico, this fruit thrives in tropical and southern Mediterranean climates. But the name “avocado” was created in 1915 by the California Avocado Association. Previously called Ahuacate, the name change was part of their effort to re-brand this fruit (much like Chilean Sea Bass used to be called Patagonian toothfish).
WHY ARE AVOCADOS GOOD FOR YOU?
They are dense in nutrients and particularly rich in potassium (more then a banana). Made up mostly of carbohydrates, avocados also have an abundance of healthy, mono-saturated fats. They have over 20 different vitamins and minerals as well as being rich in fiber and low in sugar. Avocados (like walnuts) can also suppress your appetite. But these Aztec testicles (meaning of the original name) are rich in calories so don’t go overboard on the guacamole dip.
WHEN ARE AVOCADOS IN SEASON?
This depends largely on the weather. In California they are in season from February through September. In warmer Mexico they’re grown from March to November. Filler shipments from Chile, Peru and a few other countries make sure that avocados are now available year-round in most stores.
HOW SHOULD AVOCADOS BE STORED?
Avocados are on of those fruits that must be picked in order to ripen. They will normally take 4 to 5 days when stored at room temperature. A paper bag can accelerate the ripening process. When the skin darkens to a purplish black color and is not so firmly anchored to the fresh, your avocado is ready! There is an urban legend regarding avocado pits. If you make guacamole and you must always put the whole pit inside it. This tricks the avocado into thinking it’s still whole, so it won’t brown. It’s complete hogwash but nonetheless awesome!
WHAT IS THE PROPER WAY TO CUT AN AVOCADO?
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DOES MY AVOCADO HAVE A RUBBER FETISH BEING INSIDE ALL THAT LATEX?
Latex is made from the sap of the rubber tree. And the proteins in latex that cause allergic reactions are very similar to proteins present in a variety of fruits and nuts. Avocados, bananas, plums, and strawberries among other foods can cause a similar reaction. Among people with a latex allergy, around 1/3 of them will also be allergic to avocado. However it could also be that you’re not allergic to these foods, but rather someone wearing latex gloves handled your meal before it got to you.