AVOCADO

The avocado has a delicate, nutty flavour. Inside the leathery skin, a large inedible seed is surrounded by creamy, butter-soft flesh. The fruit is pear-shaped and its skin is either glossy and green (green-skin) or rough and brown (hass). Varieties include hass, fuerte, pinkerton, ettinger.

The avocado originated in Mexico and Central America. They are unusual in being one of only a few fruits to contain fat - however, it is the healthy mono-unsaturated kind, which helps to lower the risk of heart disease. They are a good source of vitamin B6 and vitamin E - essential for healthy skin. Avocados also contain anti-oxidants, which may help prevent cancer.

AVOCADO are classed as a fruit.

Tips

Eat as they are, stuff with prawns or use in salads, dips, sauces and sandwiches. If not eating straight away, brush the cut surfaces with lemon or lime juice to prevent the flesh from browning. Avocados often accompany spicy dishes, as they help neutralise the heat.

Nutritional Information

Typical values per 100g (raw): energy 183 kcal, 778 kJ protein 3.3g carbohydrate 10.0g fat 16.6g.

Preparation

Cut the avocado lengthways, around the stone and twist the two halves to separate. Remove the stone with the tip of a spoon, then take the skin off with your fingers or a knife. Slice, dice or puree.

Storage

The ripening process does not start until avocados have been picked. Store unripe avocados at room temperature for 4-7 days. To speed up the ripening process, place in a bag with a ripe banana.

Choosing

Avocados are either sold hard (take a few days to ripen at home) or ripe and ready to eat (for immediate consumption). The pulp (edible flesh) should be free of any dark spots or streaks. Ripe avocados give to gentle pressure.

Fun Fact

The Aztecs believed avocados were an aphrodisiac.

Availability

Shown below is where this item grows in the world and where it may come from when you buy it at your supermarket or local shop.

CountryJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Chile
Israel
Kenya
Mexico
Peru
South Africa
Spain