Avocado Facts

  • Avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable
  • The avocado is also called an Alligator Pear because of its pear-like shape and green skin
Production Regions
  • The majority of South Africa’s avocados are grown in the North Eastern part of the country in the  Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces
  • Annual production of avocados in South Africa is in the region of 90 000 tons
  • South Africa is one of the world’s biggest producers of avocados and ranks amongst the top 3 exporters to Europe
  • South Africa boasts many different avocado varieties which include the popular Fuerte and Hass. But there are other delicious cultivars such as the Edranol, Ryan and Pinkerton
South America Avocados
  • The avocado originated in the southern part of central America
  • Archaeologists in Peru have found domesticated avocado seeds buried with Incan mummies dating back to 750 B.C. and there is evidence that avocados were cultivated in Mexico as early as 500 B.C
  • Named ‘The fruit of the gods’ by Central American Indians who worshipped its ability to increase vitality and general well being, these ancient civilisations used the fruit not only as a means of nutrition but also believed it to be an aphrodisiac.  Suggestively shaped, the name avocado actually comes from the Aztec word ahuacatl meaning testicle
  • The avocado is made up predominantly of the ‘good’ monounsaturated fat which is an essential part of a healthy diet
  • The avocado has the highest concentration of dietary fibre of any commonly eaten fruit
  • Because of their bountiful benefits, avocados are regarded as part of the world’s elite group of superfoods – foods packed with high levels of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and other phytochemicals
  • It is easy to test an avocado for ripeness: they should yield to gentle pressure at the stalk end but should not feel squashy when cupped in your hands
  • The Hass differs from its traditional green counterparts in that its ripeness is determined by the changing colour of its skin. Ripe Hass avocados can be anything from dark green to purple and even black.
  • To ripen avocados at home, keep them at room temperature until they are ripe. To accelerate the ripening process, place avocados in the fruit bowl with other fruit (especially bananas), or better still, pop them into a brown paper bag
  • It really is so simple to stone and peel an avocado.  Cut the avocado in half lengthways, through the skin to the stone and then twist the two halves in opposite directions and gently pull apart. Use a spoon to remove the pip. If only using one half, leave the stone in the unused half to slow down the discolouration process
  • To delay browning of a cut avocado, cover the surface of dips, soups and salsas such as guacamole with cling film, pressing it down gently to exclude air
  • Never boil, or overcook avocados! Keep cooking as brief as possible to preserve their unique flavour
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