(*Eating our way through the alphabet)
The alphabet gets a good workout at our place. Sometimes it gets re-arranged, sometimes it’s sung out loud, and sometimes single letters get exhausted from overuse (eg: the letter Why?).
Which led me to the thought of eating our way through the alphabet. What sort of interesting foodstuff might we encounter along the way?
So let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to start). Today’s food is brought to you by the letter A and the mini-critics - who picked avocado.
A is for Avocado
While I knew that the avocado was technically a fruit, I did not know that it is actually classified as a single seeded berry.
And I definitely did not know that (warning: parental guidance recommended) the word Avocado comes from an Aztec word ahuacatl which means “testicle”. Makes me look at the humble avocado in a whole new light! See what happens when you do research?
Other less interesting names for the avocado include butter pear and alligator pear, and it is related to cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel plants.
Apparently there are over 70 different varieties of avocado, but the most common (in Australia) are Hass, Shepard, Reed, Sharwil and Wurtz. To find out more about each variety, and everything else you really wanted to know about avocados visit this site : http://www.avocado.org.au.
I first encountered an avo (proper Aussie pronounciation) in my student days. I went to an agricultural university and there were all sorts of interesting plants and trees dotted around the campus. A friend came back from a jog one day with some avocados. At the time, none of us had ever encountered this “exotic” fruit. So spoons at the ready, we greedily sampled the proffered halves. You could have cut the anticlimax with a knife!
My tastebuds have grown used to the creamy delights of the avocado and I no longer consider it bland. It makes an appearance regularly at breakfast or in salads, and in dips of course.
Interestingly enough, while we treat the avocado as a vegetable in Australia, a friend who hails from Brasil refuses to eat avocado in salads because she eats avocados as dessert back home (avocado ice-cream is a regular treat). And anyone who has travelled through Indonesia will have heard of “Es Alpokat” or Avocado smoothie. I must admit I’ve never been game to sample this treat…but that day may soon come.
Other interesting bits of avocado trivia I unearthed:
•100g of avocado contains 10mg of vitamin C which is 42% of your RDI (source: http://www.avocado.org.au/nutrition/nutritional_information.aspx)
• Need a moisturiser? You can rub the inside of an avocado peel on your face (source: http://www.avocado.org.au/recipes/beauty_recipes.aspx)
• The seeds, skin of the fruit, leaves and bark of the avocado tree are poisonous to cattle, horses, goats, rabbits and other animals. (source: http://wonderwise.unl.edu/14africa/a-plant.htm)
And the best way to peel and deseed an avocado? I was going to do a step-by-step guide but found that this site had already got it covered.
My favourite way to eat avocado?
On toast, with a squeeze of lemon juice, with freshly ground pepper and a sprinkling of salt.
Not fancy enough? Add some tomato
Still not fancy enough? Add some parmesan cheese shavings. A healthy meal in a flash!
What about you my fellow food loving friends? Do you have a special way to enjoy avos? Let me in on it!
(And do come back next week for the letter B. I’m having fun! But be forewarned that there will definitely be cheating involved when I get to the tricky letters (here’s looking at you Q, X, Y and Z)…if you know of any interesting edible things beginning with tricky letters, do share please?:))