your friend, the avocado.

sure, they are delicious.  yes, they are rich in flavor and smoother than a baby’s bottom.  and even if you have only ever used them in guacamole, you can still appreciate the fact that, in the scope of all of the fruits and vegetables of the world, the avocado is an oddball.

but here are some things i bet you didn’t know.

avocados contain little to no starch or sugar because they trade it for the ability to consist of (depending on variety) up to 30% oil.  yeah, now you know why they are so darn smooth.  this percentage of lipids is roughly equivalent to that of marbled beef.  however, this comparison would only truly apply if the meat were marbled with olive oil and not animal fats.  avocado oil consists of primary monounsaturated oils (one of the best fats for you, in case you were wondering).  so next time you think about eating a nice steak, pick up an avocado.  obviously i’m being a little facetious, but think about it.

why so much oil and why so much flesh?  because avocados supposedly evolved to cater to larger animals with high caloric needs.  simple enough.  funny how nature works, huh.

the word avocado come from a nahuatl word, ahuacatl.  avocados are pear-shaped, fleshy, and have rough, bumpy skin, so you shouldn’t be that surprised to find out that the word ahuacatl means “testicle.”

not all avocados are the same.  native to central america, there are three main varieties.  the family native to mexico is from the subtropical highlands, and is the most resistant to cold temperatures of the three varieties.  these do best at around 40F/4C.  the remaining two families are native to guatamala.  the first comes from the tropical western coast, and is therefore the least temperature resistant.  they should be stored at around 54F/12C.  the second guatamalan variety is from the semitropical highlands.  it contains the most moderate qualities among the three varieties.  it has reasonable temperature resistance, and contains the least stringy flesh and lowest seed to flesh ratio.  hass, fuerte, pinkerton, reed, bacon, zutano, booth, and lula avocados are a genetically engineered mix of all three of these varieties.

if an avocado is refrigerated before ripe, its cells are damaged and it will never ripen.  if you wish to ripen an avocado, expose it to a contained environment with an abundance of ethylene (that is code for a paper bag with a banana in it).

mexican avocados have leaves which resemble anus or tarragon in aroma due to their abundance of estragole and anethole.  guatamalan avocados are lacking in this trait.  when dried and crumbled, these leaves go swimmingly with fish, beans, or chicken.

that is probably enough information for now.  you might already have a mess in your kitchen, and adding to it by exploding your head would simply be irresponsible of me.

happy cooking!

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