Table of content A-Z

 

avocado

 

Synonym: alligator pear

Botanical name: Persea americana


Avocado

 

The origin of the avocado is Central America, where it has long been eaten as a fruit. Via Spain, it then spread throughout the world. Avocados require a tropical or subtropical climate to grow. Almost a third of the world harvest stems from Mexico, but California, Florida and South America are also important producers.

 

Availability

Avocados are available in Germany all year round. The supply is greater from September to April.

 

Appearance, taste, characteristics

Avocados are pear-shaped fruits weighing about 300 g. They are generally light or dark green on the outside, but there are also varieties that are reddish brown to black. The surface of the skin varies from smooth to wrinkled. The inner pulp is yellow, but directly beneath the skin it is green. It is soft as butter, has a nutty aroma, and surrounds a thick, brown stone.

 

Ingredients

No fruit other than the olive contains more fat (up to 30%), which can be used to extract edible oil but also for cosmetic purposes. The chief components are unsaturated fatty acids (mainly oleic acid and linoleic acid). Furthermore, the avocado is rich in minerals, above all potassium and magnesium. Its water content is low compared with that of other fruits, but at about 2% its protein content is relatively high.

 

100 g contain:

 

 

Avocado, fresh

Energy (kcal)

217

Water (g)

70

Protein (g)

2

Fat (g)

24

Saturated fatty acids (g)

3.5

Monounsaturated fatty acids (g)

16.6

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (g)

2.3

Carbohydrates (g)

<1

Fibre (g)

3

Vitamin C (mg)

13

Vitamin A (RE) (µg)

12

Vitamin E (mg)

1.3

Folic acid (µg)

30

Potassium (mg)

503

Sodium (mg)

3

Calcium (mg)

10

Magnesium (mg)

29

Iron (mg)

0.6

 

Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

A ripe avocado yields slightly to pressure. When it is shaken, it should be possible to hear the stone.

 

Spotty discolouring on the green skin indicates damage due to cold.

 

Unripe fruits are frequently offered for sale. It is best to allow these to ripen for a few days at room temperature. If you keep avocados directly next to fruits that give off ethylene (such as apples) this will accelerate the ripening process.

 

Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

To eat an avocado, cut it in half and remove the stone. You may season the pulp with lemon juice, salt and pepper and spoon it out. Sprinkling the cut-open avocado with lemon or lime juice keeps the pulp from turning brown; the discolouration is caused by exposure to oxygen.

 

Avocados can be added to salads or used to stuff shellfish. Dips or spreads made of avocado purée, e.g. Mexican guacamole, are also popular.

 

In other countries avocados are preferred in sweet dishes, e.g. in sweet mousse or in fruit salad.

If you want to use avocados in warm dishes, heat the fruit only slightly, as it will otherwise lose its aroma.

 

 

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