Avocados in USA

Print

avocados_cSummer is prime season for avocados that Americans have come to love more each year. They consume roughly 31/2 pounds of avocados annually, more than twice as much as a decade ago, according to federal data. And while there are nearly 500 varieties of avocados grown around the world, Americans tend to favor just a few, mostly Hass or Hass-like varieties.


By Michele Kayal

Dying for guacamole, but avocados still days from being ripe? Put them in a paper bag and toss in a banana, apple or citrus fruit.

That's because avocados - which are powerhouses of ethylene, a natural ripening hormone - ripen faster if placed in a paper bag. And they ripen even faster if you add another ethylene producer, such as a banana.

Summer is prime season for this fruit that Americans have come to love more each year. They consume roughly 31/2 pounds of avocados annually, more than twice as much as a decade ago, according to federal data.

And while there are nearly 500 varieties of avocados grown around the world, Americans tend to favor just a few, mostly Hass or Hass-like varieties. These avocados are creamy, green-fleshed and have a pebbly skin that turns purplish-black when ripe.

Hass are your basic guacamole avocados, small and bell-shaped, great when eaten like a vegetable on salads or even more creatively, deep-fried as french fries. About 80 percent of U.S. avocado production comes from California.

But if you grew up in a tropical climate, you might prefer what are called "green-skinned" avocados, varieties such as Simmonds or Monroe or any of the dozens of other varieties coming from Florida.

These avocados have a smooth skin that remains green when ripe, and they can weigh up to 3 pounds. Green-skinned avocados also have less fat and more moisture than Hass, giving them a milder flavor and a lighter, less unctuous texture.

These qualities make them well suited to sweet preparations, like the ice cream favored by Brazilians or milk shakes enjoyed in the Philippines.

"Hispanics love to chop them into cubes and put them on top of a creamy tomato soup or squash soup," says Mary Ostlund, marketing director for Brooks Tropicals, a grower and the largest shipper of Florida avocados.

The company promotes its avocados as "SlimCados," a "lite" fruit, with fewer calories and less fat than avocados from California. For comparison, Hass avocados have 47 calories and 4 grams of fat per ounce. Florida avocados have 34 calories and 3 grams of fat.

To tell when avocados are ripe, give them a little squeeze. They should yield to slight pressure, but not be mushy. Unripe avocados should be stored at room temperature, then moved to the refrigerator when ripe. They will keep there for two to three days.

And while you can spend $10 on an avocado slicer, it's just as easy to run a knife around the fruit lengthwise then twist it slightly to separate the halves. Remove the pit with a spoon.

Pureed avocados hold up well in the freezer. The California Avocado Commission recommends adding a tablespoon of lemon juice for each two pureed avocados.

 

Here are some dishes with avocado:

Avocado Sandwich

Avocado Side Dish

Fried Avocado


www.deseretnews.com

Comments 

 
+2 #1 Alex 2009-08-15 09:06 They consume roughly 31/2 pounds of avocados annually, more than twice as much as a decade ago, according to federal data." 10 years ago we had less illegal Mexicans who eat them, that's why!!! Quote
 

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

FDRPolls

Your best fast-food restaurant is