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It is certainly a fruit, or rather a drupe such as pear, apricot, but it is used in the kitchen as a vegetable. The controversial interpretation arises from this. As a basic rule, avocado is eaten raw, when cooked it becomes bitter easily and furthermore, with the heat the precious fatty acids it is rich in deteriorate.
Avocado was the favorite fruit of the Mayans and Aztecs and it is precisely to the latter that we must go back to the etymology of the word "Avocado": in the Aztec language the word "Ahuacati" means testicle and recalls the appearance that the fruits hanging from the branches, hanging from their peduncles.
Since avocado is a fruit produced all over the world, a lot depends on the latitude. In our areas the Hass ripen from December to April, the Bacon from October to January and the Fuerte from November to February.
In our latitudes it blooms in May. An avocado tree produces about 1 million blooms in its entire life (hundreds in the same season). These are truly spectacular and occur in groups or yellow panicles, of about 250, placed near the top of the branch.
The properties of avocado are so many. Its fame as a superfood is due to the demonstrated effects on cholesterol and heart, on the immune system, on the ability to counteract skin aging, on osteoporosis, on sight, on absorption and intestinal transit, on anti-inflammatory effects, on the antidepressant capacity.
The urban legend according to which it is toxic if taken in large quantities or that it is dangerous to give it to the dog, has some small foundation. Avocado contains a toxic derivative of a fatty acid, persin, which, however, is mainly contained in the green peel and stone, while the pulp contains a minimum part of it.
A ripe avocado, depending on the variety, can weigh from 100 grams to 2 kg. Our Hass weigh on average 170g, Bacon 220g and Fuerte 200g. The heaviest Hass avocado we produced weighed 485 grams.
The origin of avocado dates back to the Cenozoic and, according to scholars, it was the favorite food of the Gonfoteri, animals that lived for millions of years, very similar to elephants but larger and with an elongated beak. They were able to swallow the whole fruit, feed on the pulp and expel the stone, which thus could give rise to a new plant, ensuring the perpetuation of the species. At that time the pits even measured 12 cm.
It must first be toasted in a pan and then grated: in this way it is possible to use it in the kitchen. It should be noted that the kernel contains a certain amount of persin, which makes it difficult to digest if ingested in large quantities.
Many think that our avocados have been harvested at the wrong time as they are still aging and it is not possible to taste them immediately: well, this is the proof that we sell a fresh product, not stressed by days and days of transport in a refrigerated environment, and which retains all its authenticity and flavor. For company choice, in fact, we do not have cold rooms and we only sell a product collected within 12 hours of dispatch. For you, buying directly from the producer and not from a retailer is a surefire way to save money and to be sure of the origin of the fruit.
The avocado does not ripen on the tree but only once harvested. From that moment it takes 7 to 12 days before you can consume it. There are methods by which it is possible to anticipate or postpone the maturation.
Fruit in contact with a gas called ethylene ripens earlier: it originates during the degradation operated by bacteria and fungi. If you put the avocado in a closer paper bag or put it in contact with other fruit, especially apples and bananas, this gas will ripen it more ù quickly.
Avocado is ripe when its flesh becomes soft to the touch and its skin tends to become darker or darker depending on the variety.
It is possible to observe the color present under the petiole: if it is not green but gray, it is too mature.
The pulp becomes dark because it oxidizes in contact with oxygen. To prevent this from happening you have to brush the avocado with an acid liquid (lemon of course, but also orange). If you remove the core from one half, the oxidation process is accelerated. If the fruit has not been handled carefully during the harvest, it will turn dark at the traumatized points.
Score the avocado vertically around the entire circumference with a large knife and then rotate the two halves until they come apart. Gently remove the pit from the half that contains it with the help of a spoon. Careful! It seems that, when using the knife, accidents during this operation are very high.
To try to delay the ripening of the avocado it is advisable to keep it at room temperature until the beginning of the ripening; as soon as the pulp becomes compressible, put it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag and eliminate as much air as possible; so it can last a few weeks but this could affect the taste. If, on the other hand, it is already mature, the best advice is. . . eat it! Even putting it in the refrigerator, oxidation will deteriorate the pulp, irremediably changing its taste. If you have already cut it, you can delay the oxidation by placing the left half in a glass of water. It is a good way to use half fruit for lunch and half for dinner.
It is certainly convenient to do this by reducing the avocado first in pulp or sauce. If you do this using an airtight container, you can keep it for six months. Defrost it progressively by leaving it in the fridge for 12-24 hours, without opening it. In industry, to prolong storage, the pulp is placed at very low pressure and sealed.
Avocado is a very delicate fruit and is harvested manually. Traumas occurring during the harvest compromise its quality and become evident during ripening with areas blackened early and more easily attacked by molds. Where it is not possible to reach with your hands, special tools with basket are used.
The trees have an erect trunk and, some varieties, can reach up to 20 meters in height. When they are small they do not have a woody trunk and for this reason they need sturdy stakes that protect them from the wind.
The major producing countries are Latin America (Mexico, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Brazil), Indonesia, Kenya, the United States, Australia. In Europe Spain and Italy. In Italy the producing regions are, in order, Sicily, Calabria and Puglia.
Especially in Latin America, the production of this fruit takes place intensively to the detriment of the populations who are subtracted from the water necessary to enormously increase production. In addition, very often entire areas of rainforest are cleared or burned to make way for this crop.
Italian producers do not have this hunger for profit and they grow the plant in harmony with nature, very often, as in the case of AvocadoBio, with organic methods that limit production but allow for a much healthier and tastier fruit. Good reason, this, to buy Italian, even if only at certain times of the year, I follow the normal rhythms of nature.
The avocados you find in the supermarket, with a few rare exceptions, they come from very distant countries. They made a journey of up to 10,000 km before reaching us with a consequent increase in transport, storage and marketing costs.
For our organic avocados we use sheep manure and legumes. It is very useful to carry out the vegetable mulching obtained with the residues of pruning and mowing the grass. Non-organic avocados use synthetic fertilizers capable of increasing their production at the expense of integrity and health. They also come used fungicides to combat fungal diseases to which the tree is very sensitive.