They are called alligator pears, also butter pears, vegetable butter or midshipman’s butter, but we know them best as the avocados, Floridan or Californian. Yes, they come to us as mottled dark green or a smooth medium green, and they are delicious. Our heart likes them, too, and arthritis doesn’t! Incredibly smooth, delightfully rich, wonderfully subtle, avocados, depending on the culture, are at home in sweet as well as savory dishes.
Avocados were first cultivated in Central and South America back in 8,000 BCE. From there they traveled to Jamaica, the Asian tropics then the U.S. in the 1800’s mostly in Florida then later California.
The avocado comes from the Persea Americana family as do cinnamon, bay leaf and camphor.
They are rich in fiber, vitamins K, C, B, folate, potassium and widely regarded for their anti-inflammatory qualities and for being heart healthy. They are also high in mono-unsaturated fat, a plus for those who must avoid high-fat meat, fish and dairy products.
A ripe avocado is near ripeness if the skin gives slightly to the touch. A more oval one, rather than perfectly round one, indicates a longer life on the tree before picking. Ripen firmer fruit in a paper bag at room temperature. Do not refrigerate avocados until after they have reached ripeness. To store any peeled avocado pieces sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent turning color and wrap tightly.
You can prevent the natural darkening of the avocado flesh that occurs with exposure to air by sprinkling with a little lemon juice or vinegar after you add them to your recipe.
Cooking avocado is not recommended due to its fat structure and delicate vulnerability.
Make an Avocado Ritz by combining avocado, shrimp, seafood sauce, lemon juice and cayenne pepper with chopped lettuce. (We know a chef who adds a dash of Coca Cola.)
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Condiment for sandwiches
Ingredient in Advocaat