23 Jun2005

Avocado

by Marketman

What interesting body part is the avocado named after? avo1Read 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 avo2 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.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. ladygoat says:

    Now you’ve got me craving avocado ice cream.

    Jun 23, 2005 | 9:53 pm

     
  2. virgiio p. castillo says:

    Tease me more! Reading what you write make me nostalgic and crave for exotic fruits not easy to get where I live. Sure I can have those avocados from Israel but nothing beats what you’ve got there. Feel bad that avocados -my all-time favorite fruit for shakes- were not yet in season in March-April when I was home. Talking of fruit shakes, my Viennese friends frowned the first time they saw me blending avocados with milk, ice and sugar to make my best summer drink. Well,let me admit it took me a while though to appreciate this culinary breakthrough they call shrimp-avocado cocktail. Of course, sans milk, ice, and sugar!

    Jun 23, 2005 | 10:46 pm

     
  3. Marketman says:

    Ladygoat if you have an ice cream maker it should be pretty easy to make avocado ice cream at home… no cooking involved, just blend good ripe avocados and cream and sugar together and put in ice cream maker… Virgilio, oops is all I can say, memory foods are a double edged sword – readers love them cause they take them back home, but hate them because it triggers a craving!

    Jun 24, 2005 | 5:44 am

     
  4. eD says:

    We used to make avocado ice popsicles when were little — basically a mix of evap milk, sugar, water, and mashed avocado. Quenches your thirst during those sweltering summer days … kinda chewy to bite on too.

    California avocados are plentiful here … they’re practically available all year long. And they seem to have much longer shelf-life compared to the ones we used to buy in Laguna.

    Americans think it’s weird to make a milk shake with avocados :) … ‘a green-colored milk-shake? You gotta be kidding me.’ Hehe.

    The local Goldilocks and Jollibee joints here offer them avocado shakes with some yummy tapioca pearls thrown in. Even some of them ‘Tapioca Express’ (chinese owned franchise) sell them nowadays …

    ‘Am not sure if pinoys back home have acquired taste for the guacamole dips though … might be too bland for Pinoy’s taste.

    eD

    Jun 24, 2005 | 6:41 am

     
  5. mojitodrinker says:

    when i was in the US, all my friends thought it was weird that filipinos take avocados with milk and sugar. all except one: a friend from sri lanka. turns out they take it that way there too…

    Jun 24, 2005 | 10:43 am

     
  6. carol says:

    my late mother always said that the elongated avocados taste much better than the round ones. never knew the diff. ’cause we never bought the round variety :-)

    Jun 24, 2005 | 10:51 am

     
  7. Marketman says:

    Carol I have to say the elongated-ish ones from baguio were really good. Ed and mojito drinker, avocado shakes or mashed are the way I used to eat them as a kid too.

    Jun 24, 2005 | 12:00 pm

     
  8. Noel says:

    Here in Wellington NZ, my workmates could not understand why I am mixing milk & sugar with my avocado. They eat avocado with their toast or part of their vegge salads.

    Jun 24, 2005 | 12:45 pm

     
  9. dodi says:

    Yap, the Aztecs seem to be apt with their name for the avocado! I could not imagine if we Visayans had named it first. Anyway, that’s another tree where we used to have a treehouse and we used to bring milk, sugar and crushed ice up with us and have our really, really fresh avocado milkshakes!

    Jun 27, 2005 | 1:33 pm

     
  10. Maricel says:

    Seems like Carol is right. I was debating wether to buy the round or elongated avocados until I remembered her tip. It was really a lot better than the round ones I bought the previous week. It was less fibrous and the flesh was almost buttery.

    Jul 7, 2005 | 6:09 pm

     
  11. thelma says:

    one day, our gardener showed up with a bucketful of bacon avocados. they are so huge with just a tiny seed and a with a thick flesh. they are far better than the fuerte and haas varieties.
    when fully ripe, it has the consistency of butter and with no fibers whatsoever.

    Jul 1, 2008 | 1:03 pm

     
  12. mexican says:

    Does anyone know where i can get a supply of avocados year round…. Please marketman, if you have any information, i would greatly appreciate it. Thank you

    Oct 5, 2008 | 6:58 pm

     
  13. Marketman says:

    mexican, as far as I know, avocados are definitely seasonal in the Philippines, and as such, would not be available year-round.

    Oct 5, 2008 | 8:50 pm

     
 

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