Are we living in the Age of the Avocado?
These days is seems as though every trendy restaurant has avocado toast on the menu, guacamole is more popular than ever, avocado smoothies are all the rage, and an avocado rose is a real thing. Avocado is being used as a butter replacement, and recipes for avocado brownies, avocado ice cream, avocado cupcakes, and chocolate avocado pudding are all over the internet.
The avocado has long been heralded as a superfood and although that term can be thrown at things in a haphazard way, in the case of the avocado it might actually be just right.
Naturally low in salt, avocados are a great source of unsaturated fats and, ounce for ounce, they top the charts among all fruits — yes, the avocado is a fruit — for folate, potassium, vitamin E, and magnesium.
Avocados contain plentiful nutrients, taste delicious and even come in their own naturally protective packaging. Here are a fun facts about this creamy super-fruit.
1. They’re a fruit
Though they are often used as a vegetable in savory dishes, avocados are technically a fruit. More specifically, an avocado is a single-seeded berry.
2. They are all picked by hand
To harvest avocados, workers use a 16-foot pole with a pouch and clipper on the end to reach the high-hanging fruit. The high cost of labor is one of the main reasons avocados are so expensive compared to other fruits and vegetables.
3. The conquistadors used their seeds for ink
The conquistadors discovered that avocado seeds produce a milky liquid that turns red when exposed to air. They used this as a natural ink, and some documents written with it are preserved to this day. (Many of these works reside in the archives of Popayán in Columbia.) The ink has also been used to mark cotton and linen textiles. The “avocado ink” sold today is typically named for its green color and has nothing to do with the red ink of the avocado seed.
4. There are many different kinds
The worldwide popularity of the Hass aside, there are hundreds of different types of avocados, ranging from the oval-shaped, light-skinned Bacon variety to the pear-shaped, thin-skinned Zutano. Each type differs in shape, size, skin type, taste and texture.
5. They're easy to grow
It's actually pretty easy to grow your own avocado tree using toothpicks, a glass of water and an avocado seed. First wash the seed. Then use three toothpicks to suspend it broad-end down over a water-filled glass to cover about an inch of the seed. Put the glass in a warm place out of direct sunlight and replenish water as needed. You should see the roots and stem start to sprout in about two to six weeks.