Published: Thu, 06 Apr 2015
The avocado gets its name from the Latin American Nahuatl word ahuacatl meaning “testicle,” an obvious reference to the shape of the fruit.
Soft, buttery, creamy-white to greenish-yellow flesh which has a delicate nutty taste – it’s what makes us irresistible!
The avocado is native to Mexico, Central America and parts of South America and was cultivated by the ancient Mayas, Toltecs, Aztecs, Incas and other great American civilizations for centuries before the European arrived in the 'New World'. Early European colonizers were enthusiastic about the new-found fruit and took it back with them to Europe where it was gradually introduced throughout the areas with climates favorable to its culture. By 1825, avocado was grown in the Hawaiian Islands, Africa and Polynesia.
Due to their thick, pebbly skin, the fruit inside of a California Avocado is naturally protected, placing California Avocados amongst the lowest of all fruits and vegetables for pesticide use.
Ripening TipsLike most fruits, avocados do not ripen until picked, so fresh ones will be as hard as rocks. Look for an even unblemished texture, uniformly hard or soft over its entire surface and those that feel heavy for their size. Avoid any with bruises or soft spots, and those with a hollow between the flesh and skin. Shake the avocado to test...if the pit is loose, move on to the next one.
The flesh of ripe fruits will yield when pressed gently. However, ripe fruits bruise easily with excessive handling in the markets, so it is best to ripen your own at home. Of course, this means proper planning, giving yourself 2 to 5 days in advance to insure they are ripe for your use.
To ripen, place the avocado(s) in a brown paper bag and store at room temperature for 2 to 5 days, away from direct sunlight. The addition of an apple or banana to the bag will hasten the ripening process. Do not store unripened fruit in the refrigerator. After being chilled, they will never ripen properly. Once ripe, they can be stored in the refrigerator, unpeeled, for up to two weeks.