Information for ingredient: avocado
A tropical fruit, rich in unsaturated fatty acids.
Last edited by petra on (February 26, 2008 17:58:13)
The avocado is a tree native to Mexico, Central America, and Guam. In the 18th and 19th century, the avocado was introduced to Europe, Indonesia, Brazil, the Middle East, South Africa and Australia.
Last edited by petra on (February 26, 2008 17:13:35)
This subtropical species needs a climate without frost and little wind. High winds reduce the humidity, dehydrate the flowers, and affect pollination. When mild frost does occur, the fruit drops from the tree, reducing the yield. Avocado trees also need well aerated soils, ideally more than 1 m deep. Avocado can be grown as a houseplant from seed. It can germinate in normal soil in a large pot or by suspending a washed pit (generally using toothpicks embedded in the sides) pointed-side up and filling the glass until the bottom quarter of the pit is covered. The pit will crack as it absorbs water and germinates, and should sprout in 4–6 weeks. When the roots and stem emerge from the seed, it can be planted in soil. The young tree is amenable to pruning and training but will not normally bear fruit indoors without sufficient sunlight and a second plant to cross-pollinate.
Last edited by petra on (February 26, 2008 17:26:33)
Harvest and reproduction
While an avocado propagated by seed can bear fruit, it takes roughly 4–6 years to do so. The species is partially unable to self-pollinate, and this limitation, added to the long juvenile period, makes the species difficult to breed.
Last edited by petra on (February 26, 2008 17:25:08)
The avocado fruit matures on the tree, but ripens off the tree. Generally, the fruits are picked once they are mature, and then kept cool until they are supposed to ripen.
Last edited by petra on (February 26, 2008 17:25:17)
Preparation & characteristics
A ripe avocado will yield to a gentle pressure when held in the palm of the hand and squeezed. The flesh is typically greenish yellow to golden yellow when ripe. The flesh oxidizes and turns brown quickly after exposure to air. To prevent this, lime or lemon juice can be added to avocados after they are peeled. The fruit is not sweet, but fatty, strongly flavored, and of smooth, almost creamy texture. It is used in salads, dishes with chicken, as sandwich spread, it is the basis for the Mexican guacamole dip, and in some countries, it is even part of milkshakes and ice cream.
Last edited by petra on (February 26, 2008 17:31:57)
Last edited by petra on (February 26, 2008 17:57:38)