AVOCADO , THE FERTILITY FRUIT
Avocados are very easy to grow on well drained terrain, excess humidity rots the roots and kills the plant, you will never see and avocado tree growing in a swamp. The best trees for growing at home are grafted trees from varieties that produce quality fruit. Trees grown from seed usually grow too tall and produce small fruits that are hard to reach.
Avocados can be bought in 2 stages of ripeness, green (verde) which feel hard to the touch, ripe (maduro) which yield to pressure with your fingers but leave no mark, if pressure leaves a mark then it is over ripe and should be used for recipes that call for mashing. There are no applications for green avocados there are many for ripe avocados.
Some countries like Brazil treat avocadoes as if they were a sweet fruit and make sherbets (with sugar and lemon), smoothies (with sugar and yogurt), shakes (with milk and sugar) or ice cream ( with cream and sugar).
There are many varieties of avocados, from 0.25 Kg (0.5 Lb) to 1.5 Kg (3 Lb), from rugged skin to smooth skin, from dark purple to shiny green. The Hass variety produced in California is well known to north Americans, however that variety is rare throughout Latin America where large, green and smooth skin varieties are more common. For a look at different varieties follow this link: Avocado varieties
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Persea americana
ENGLISH NAME: Avocado
LOCAL NAMES: Aguacate, Palta, Abacate (Brasil)
PRODUCTS: Avocado oil
NUTRIENTS: Avocados are an excellent source of potassium, vitamins B and E, monounsaturated fatty acids, and fiber. Avocados contain a high level of monosaturates (unsaturated fatty acids). The oils contained in avocados include oleic and linoleic acids. Studies show that those oils may help to lower cholesterol levels. For more information follow the link: Avocado's nutrients
PROCESSING: Avocados can be diced, sliced, mashed or used in whole halfs depending on the recipe to be prepared. The following link will show you all cutting options: How to cut an Avocado
STORING: Avocadoes store well at room temperature. For ripening they should be stored with other fruits like bananas or pineapples. They ripen best slowly, if you need to accelerate it wrap them in newspaper and put them in a warm place like the top of refrigerator or an oven with a pilot. Once cut the avocado flesh oxidizes rather quickly and turns brown, to delay this reaction one can spray with lime juice or brush with oil depending on the recipe to be prepared, cover tightly to avoid exposure to air, use plastic wrap. If the avocado is to be mashed you can place the seed in the mixture until serving, it will delay oxidation.
AVOCADO SOUP: It is a cold soup very refreshing during a hot day. Take 3 medium size avocados cut in half, discard the pit, with a melon baller cut 4 balls of avocado flesh and spray with lime to avoid browning, if you do not have baller cut 4 thin slices, reserve; place rest of flesh in a blender with 7 cups of warm clear chicken soup ( from cubes if necessary), if you are vegetarian you can use vegetables stock instead, add the juice of 1 lime, 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro, salt and pepper to taste, blend until you get a homogenous cream, if it is too thick add more soup or stock; place cream in refrigerator to chill for a couple of hours before serving; to serve add 1/2 cup of whipping cream and blend briefly; place an avocado ball in each individual serving and spray with finely chopped fresh cilantro.