Trying to buy a decent avocado that's soft and ripe can be quite tricky. In my quest to find them I have decided that it is actually worth paying extra for the premium ones that are labelled by the supermarkets as “ready-to-eat”. Buying the “rock hard” ones in a hope that they turn soft at home can backfire - often the fruit will just rot instead of ripening to a creamy, soft and delicately pale flesh that you would want to enjoy.
Avocados are simply packed full with goodness, contributing a whole host of vitamins, minerals - such as potassium - and phytonutrients to your diet. These are thought to help prevent many chronic diseases. Although high in fat, avocados can help you maintain healthy weight as they contain monounsaturated fat that speeds up the basal metabolic rate.
- Avocado is derived from the Spanish word “aguacate” that comes from the Aztec’s word “ahuacatl” (which the invading Spaniards could not pronounce) meaning “testicle”. Colloquially, it is sometimes referred to as Alligator Pear, reflecting its shape and leather-like skin.
- Avocados are native to Central and South America where they have been cultivated for millennia and today Mexico is the largest producer of avocados in the world.
- One of the most popular avocado variety is the Haas, which was patented by Rudolf Hass, a postman in the US, in 1935. The original Hass tree is still alive and bearing fruit to this day.
- An avocado tree can reach 20 meters in height produce between 150 and 500 fruits a year.
- Guacamole is probably one of the most common dishes associated with avocado. Back in 2004 a US based organisation, the Center for Science in Public Interest (CSPI), reported that Kraft and other food manufactures were making guacamole dips without avocados in them, relaying on artificial colouring and hydrogenated oils instead.