Welcome back travelers and foodie lovers to this week’s blog. Seeing that we recently have been traveling in and out of South America and México I figure we would talk about one of my favorite fruits which is the avocado.
The state of Puebla, México is noted for originating the avocado. Scientists have found avocado growth evidence in Puebla dated back to 10,000 BC. The agricultural development of the fruit has a long history in South America as well. One of the more interesting particulars of an avocado is the harvesting of the fruit. Did you know that avocados do not soften while maturing on the tree? Crazy right? The tree in which the avocado grows on can act as a better storage unit than your fridge. That’s right! The fruit can actually be stored better on the tree for many months past maturing than the fridge or just sitting around.
Many think an avocado is a vegetable but it is not, it’s a fruit which is related to the berry family. The avocado is also referred to as the alligator pear due to its green and rough exterior. Another interesting topic about avocados is the name. The Aztecs name for the fruit was “ahuacatl” meaning “testicle,” due to the shape of the fruit. When the Spanish explores came and could not pronounce the Aztec word for the fruit they named it aguacate. The later, well known term, “avocado” was formed by the Spanish which was formed from the Nahuatl origin of the word of the fruit. The Spanish have other terms that they obscured from the Nahuatl that coincide with the usage of the fruit such as guacamole. The Nahuatl term that the Spanish transitioned was ahuacamolli.
Some other fun facts:
- Spaniards found they could use the juice from the seed for ink.
- In 1519, Cortez had seen that the avocado was a staple in the native diet.
- In 1554, Francisco Salazar mentions in his book the New Spain, the avocado being sold in the market place.
- Seamen in the 1700’s would spread the fruit on their biscuits and call it midshipman’s butter.
- In 1833 the first avocado tree in Florida was planted.
I like to leave you this week with a couple of wonderful recipes that The Traveling Foody family love to make. One is an Avocado Fries side dish and the other is an Avocado and Black Bean Salsa.
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- Canola oil for frying
- ¼ Cup all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt plus a bit more for taste
- 2 Large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 ½ Cups panko breadcrumbs
- 2 Firm avocados, cut into ½ inch wedges
Pour the oil to a depth of 1 ½ inches into a medium sauce pan. Heat the oil to 275°F. Combine flour and salt into shallow plate. Put eggs and panko in separate shallow plates. Dip the avocado wedges in flour, shaking off the excess. Dip in the egg, and dredge in panko to coat.
Fry avocado wedges in batches, 35 – 60 seconds until golden brown. Drain on paper towel. For large batches, place previous fried wedges on baking sheet and place in oven at 200°F until the rest of batch is done. Sprinkle wedges with additional salt to taste.
Avocado Black Bean Salsa
- 1 Can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Cup corn, thawed
- 1 Can fire roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
- 2 Garlic cloves minced
- ¼ Cup packed cilantro, chopped
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons light olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon minced canned chipotles in adobo sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 avocados diced
Combined all ingredients except avocados. Blend well. Fold in the avocado and serve with chips.
-Damien – The Traveling Foody