from the Aztec "ahun calt"
The fruit of the avocado tree, from the Lauraceae (laurel) family, the avocado is an ovoid fruit containing a pit, having either a smooth or rough surface.
The avocado is part of the diet of the peoples of Central and South America. It is used as a vegetable, but even more as a vegetable butter. In the 18th century the English called it "sailor's butter," and no opportunity was missed to stock up on avocados at every tropical port of call. Aztec women rubbed avocado oil on their bodies to hydrate their skin, dried by the hot winds.
Nutritional values per 100 g
Calories: 161; Lipids 20 g; Protein 2 g; Carbohydrates 7 g; Fat, 15 g; Contains 17 minerals and is rich in Vitamins A, B, C, E and PP
They are ripe when the skin yields to gentle finger pressure.
There are several varieties, each with different properties: the West Indian variety has a thick skin and is low in oil, while the Mexican has a thin skin and is rich in oil
Avocados can be kept at room temperature for several days to ripen; their ripening will be hastened by wrapping them in newspaper.
If refrigerated they can be kept for up to 10 days depending on their maturity, but they will not ripen any further.
To prevent them from oxidizing, Mexicans place the pit into avocado mixtures to slow down darkening for two to three hours.
Avocados do not stand up to cooking; at most they can be quickly warmed up in the microwave to accompany hot dishes.
- Avocados can be puréed and the cream used in soups, gazpacho, sauces, etc.
- They are excellent puréed with coconut milk, and sprinkled with a little lime zest.
- Avocado may be whipped like a mayonnaise to accompany cold fish dishes.
- It may be stuffed with shrimp, crabmeat, etc., and served with mayonnaise, lemon or tomato sauce.
In Brazil they are made in sorbets.
In Mexico, guacamole is a staple sauce. It can be either creamy or runny, sweet or savoury depending on its use and the region. It is pounded in a mortar with onion, oil and lemon juice. Peppers, tomatillos, coriander, tomatoes, etc. may be added to taste.
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