AVOCADOS IN THE USA

August 18, 2017

Spanish conquistadors had their own historian, Oviedo, who reported positively about avocados discovered in Mexico around 1519. But this interesting fruit has graced Central and South America for perhaps 10,000 years, according to the avocado-inspired drawings and artifacts found in early Aztec settlements.

A judge from Santa Barbara took the first Mexican avocado trees to California in 1871. California now grows 90% of the U.S. avocado crop in more than 6,000 groves. Although actually Mexico is the main exporter of avocados in the world.

To enjoy an avocado (also called an “alligator pear”), it first has to be prepared. A common chef’s maneuver: cut around the long side of the fruit down to the seed with a large knife. Twist the top half off like a jar lid. Then firmly tap the knife blade on the center of the seed a few times until it sticks. Practice makes perfect. Twist the knife and voilà – it’s out. Carefully score the avocado flesh without nicking the peel, and then scoop it out with a spoon.

The growing U.S. demand for avocados is the result of various forces, including the growth of the U.S. Hispanic and Caribbean population, a rapidly spreading consumer trend towards ethnic as well as health- promoting foods, and intensifying promotion efforts by the U.S. avocado industry under the Hass Avocado Promotion. The fast food industry has increasingly added avocados to their menus as the growth in avocado imports now allow these food chains to keep avocados on the menu year-round.

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