Advertisement

Find us on:


Bananas: Cavendish »« Apricots

Avocado Hass

Persea americana


Description

Creamy, buttery avocados can be an acquired taste but if their subtle flavour is used correctly they can sing, or at least place other foods in the spotlight.

The avocado has a soft, pale green flesh surrounding a large centre stone, and is a Mexican berry fruit whose name comes from the Mexican Spanish aguacate (which itself comes from a Nahuatl, or Aztec, word for ‘testicle’ and describes the shape of the fruit).

While avocado has a reputation for being fatty, it’s important to remember that it mainly contains valuable monounsaturated fat, which can help lower the risk of heart disease. Other fatty acids contained in avocado are thought to have some anti-inflammatory properties, being particularly helpful for disorders such as arthritis. Avocado is also a good source of vitamins B6, C, and K, fibre, folate, and potassium.

When choosing avocadoes, think ahead to when you’re planning to use them. The darker the skin, the riper they are, so if you’re planning to get several days’ worth, get a mix of ripe and unripe ones. Avocados are ethylene sensitive, so if you have one you need to ripen quickly, put it into a paper bag overnight with a banana. The flesh turns brown when exposed to air, so if you need to store half an avocado, squeeze some lemon juice on top to keep it green.

Advertisement

History

Avocados are native to South and Central America, with the earliest examples of their use dating back to 10,000 years ago. They were discovered by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, who not only found that they were good to eat, but that they could use liquid from the avocado stone as ink.

It was introduced to Australia, and probably New Zealand, in the 19th century.

Uses

Avocado is almost always used raw. It can bring an extra creaminess to salads, and is an excellent addition to the chilled tomato soup dish gazpacho. Simple is best – eat avocado spread thickly on crunchy wholegrain toast, with just a little bit of lemon juice and salt and pepper sprinkled on top.

The most traditional method of using avocado is in guacamole. For a simple guacamole dip, blend together the flesh of a ripe avocado, a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, as much Tabasco sauce or chilli as you like, a clove of garlic, and a good blob of sour cream. Stir in a chopped spring onion and a chopped tomato, and season with salt and pepper.

Avocadoes are a good choice of first food for babies, with their creamy texture and high nutritional value. Avocado can also be spread on sandwiches as a healthy substitute for butter.

Facts

There are a number of varieties of avocado, but the main commercial variety is the Hass avocado.

Each tree can yield 500 avocados a year, and the fruit can weigh up to 1kg each.

Avocadoes are also known as ‘alligator pears’ for their rough, dark skin and pear-like shape.



Bananas: Cavendish »« Apricots

Advertisement

Upcoming Events

  • Queen Street Food Tour

    Tuesday 21st November, 2017. 9:30am – 12:30pm.

    Come along with us for a gentle stroll along one of Auckland’s most iconic streets while weaving in and out of the... read more

  • Auckland Tastebud Tour

    Tuesday 21st November, 2017. 9:30am – 1:30pm.

    Join The Big Foody for a fabulous morning of discovery around Auckland. The city sits in the middle of two oceans... read more

  • Auckland In the Afternoon Tour

    Tuesday 21st November, 2017. 2:30pm – 5:30pm.

    Join us for a gentle walking tour around Auckland city in the afternoon taking in the sights, tastes and history of this... read more

Eventfinder

More events in your area

Twitter Feed

Read more »