Fruit Information

AVOCADO Persea americana (Mill) of the family Lauraceae, Common Name: Avocado, Alligator Pear (English)

Avocados ripen in a few days at room temperature (faster if stored with other fruits such as apples or bananas, because of the influence of ethylene gas). Premium supermarkets sell pre-ripened avocados treated with synthetic ethylene to hasten the ripening process.

The fruit is not sweet but fatty, distinctly yet subtly flavored, and of smooth, almost creamy texture. It is used in both savoury and sweet dishes, though in many countries not for both. The avocado is very popular in vegetarian cuisine, making a substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads because of its high fat content.

Generally, avocado is served raw, though some cultivars, including the common Hass, can be cooked for a short time without becoming bitter. Caution should be used when cooking with untested cultivars; the flesh of some avocados may be rendered inedible by heat. Prolonged cooking induces this chemical reaction in all cultivars. It is used as the base for the Mexican dip known as guacamole, as well as a spread on toast, served with spices. Some people enjoy avocado on toast

In Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, and south India (especially the coastal Kerala & Karnataka region), avocados are frequently used for milkshakes and occasionally added to ice cream and other desserts. In Brazil, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia, a dessert drink is made with sugar, milk or water, and pureed avocado. Chocolate syrup is sometimes added. In Ethiopia avocados are made into juice by mixing them with sugar and milk or water, usually served with Vimto and a slice of lemon. It is also very common to serve layered multi-fruit juice in a glass (locally called 'Spreece') made of avocados, mangoes, bananas, guavas and papayas. Avocados are also used to make salads

Avocados in savory dishes, often seen as exotic, are a relative novelty in Portuguese speaking countries such as Brazil, where the traditional preparation is mashed with sugar and lime, and eaten as a dessert or snack. This contrasts with Spanish speaking countries, such as Mexico or Argentina, where the opposite is true and sweet preparations are often unheard of

In Australia and New Zealand, it is commonly served in sandwiches, on toast, or often with chicken. In Ghana, it's often eaten alone in sliced bread as a sandwich. In Sri Lanka it is a popular dessert once well ripened, flesh is thoroughly mashed with sugar/sugar and milk or treacle (syrup made from the nectar of a particular palm flower).

In Mexico and Central America avocados are served mixed with white rice, in soups, salads, or on the side of chicken and meat. In Peru avocados are consumed with tequeños as mayonnaise, served as a side dish with parrillas, used in salads and sandwiches, or as a whole dish when filled with tuna, shrimps, or chicken. In Chile it is used as a puree in chicken, hamburgers, and hot dogs; and in slices for celery or lettuce salads. The Chilean version of Caesar salad contains large slices of mature avocado. In Kenya, the avocado is often eaten as a fruit, and is eaten alone, or mixed with other fruits in a fruit salad, or as part of a vegetable salad. In Iran it is used as a rejuvenating facial cream.

A puree of the fruit was used to thicken and flavour the liqueur Advocaat in its original recipe, made by the Dutch population of Suriname and Recife, with the name deriving from the same source.

Avocado slices are frequently added to hamburgers, tortas, hot dogs, and carne asada Avocado can be combined with eggs (in scrambled eggs, tortillas or omelettes). Avocado is a key ingredient in California rolls and other Makizushi ("Maki", or rolled sushi).In southern Africa, Avocado Ritz is a common dish