Monday, April 30, 2012

Avocados Everywhere

Before the 1950s, avocados were not a particular popular food in New England. In other places, though, people ate the fruit. Early Aztecs considered it to be a sex stimulent; perhaps that scared off our Puritan ancestors. (In fact, the name avocado comes from the Aztec word for "testicle," which is probably why people made the sex connection.) Or perhaps no one wanted to try an "alligator pear," which was an early name that locals used. 

Today, avocados turn up everywhere, in stores, soups, salads, freezers, and even beauty products. Its newfound popularity is probably related not only to its warm buttery taste but also to its high nutritional content. Avocados have lots of fiber, potassium, folate, and other good things; furthermore, they are not that high in calories. Two tablespoons of mashed avocado has about half the calories and fat as the same amount of mayonnaise. The flesh also contains no cholesterol or sodium.

I often use mashed avocado on sandwiches in place of or in addition to mayonnaise. I love an avocado half stuffed with tuna, lobster, or crab salad. And I consider it asnecessary to a good salad as leafy greens.

I recently learned a few tidbits about avocados:
  • to speed ripening, put inside a brown paper bag in a warm oven
  • to retard ripening, refrigerate immediately
  • to keep a cut half from browning, place on top of coarsely chopped onions in a sealed container
This last detail came from a You Tube video that I loved. The narrator performed a comparison among various methods that are supposed to keep cut avocados from darkening. I watched the whole thing and loved it.

I figure that even if the onion method doesn't work and the avocado does turn brown, I can always mash it up with a little honey and smear it on my skin. Avocado never goes to waste in this house.

No comments:

Post a Comment