What interesting body part is the avocado named after? Read on for the amusing answer. They are up to their eyeballs in avocados at the markets right now! What is usually a fairly long season from May to September, the weather this year must have played a role in the massive volume and timing of avocados from mid to late June. Avocados (Persea Americana) are relatively new to the Philippine archipelago, introduced about 100 years ago by the Spaniards who got the seeds from Mexico. The fruit was introduced again in the early 1900’s by the Americans who, working with the Philippine Department of Agriculture, introduced the fruit from plants in Hawaii, according to Doreen Fernandez, in her book “Fruits of the Philippines”. A native of Mexico or thereabouts, all of the 500+ varieties of avocado on the planet today are descended from one of three original types of fruit from the Central American Peninsula. The fruit thrives in the Philippines and it is estimated that we produce nearly 50,000 tonnes of the fruit every year, mostly in backyards as opposed to organized plantations, according to government estimates.
At the Baguio market, there was literally a ton or more of avocados with signs that said “malagkit” variety. Apparently there are essentially two varieties that are common in the Philippines, the ones that turn purple-ish and the ones that stay rather green. The malagkit variety at the Baguio market was excellent. The meat was dense, smooth with few large fibers embedded in the fruit. They were great in salads and made wonderful avocado popsicles. I always wondered why my mom was so fond of the fruit– we used to have it with milk and sugar all mashed up, in ice cream and as popsicles growing up. I only now figured out that the island of Bohol (where she spent her childhood) is one of the largest avocado producing islands in the Visayas! The first photo above is of avocados at the Baguio market. The second photo of green avocados is a scanned photo I took of some Batangas avocados we ate last summer. If I recall correctly, the Batangas avocados were also very good but they did have more fiber. So what is the body part? Avocado is probably derived from the Aztec ahuacatl which meant testicle, according to Alan Davidson.