Learn Something About…Avocados

90% of avocados in the US come from California, with most of them coming from San Diego County.  I grew up with about ten avocado tress in my backyard (along with trees of lemons, limes, plums, tangerines, nectarines, and oranges – yeah, trust me, it’s really difficult to pay exorbitant prices for these things).  I won some money many years ago when someone tried to argue with me that avocados grew on vines.  No, I said, they grow on trees.  The person continued to argue with me, even after I pointed out the fact that I lost MANY a kite to the avocado trees on my street when I was a kid.  Trust me, avocados grow on trees.

There are nearly 500 varieties of avocados, but the most well known and most abundant is the Hass avocado, the Mother Tree (much like the mother vine in wine growing, I would imagine) of which was in the backyard of Rudolf Hass’s La Habra Heights home.  The growing conditions for the Hass avocados are ideal, making them super creamy.  These are the avocados that turn black when they are ripe.  To hasten the ripening process, place avocados in a paper sack in a cool, dark place. 

Now, my mother makes arguably the best guacamole known to man.  I think I rank a close second.  The best guac, in my opinion, isn’t that creamy stuff you get in Mexican restaurants.  To make mine, I take the avocado and rough chop it, so the pieces are, say about a quarter inch square.  Throw that into a bowl, and add some lime juice (about half a lime to each avo), kosher salt, black and red pepper, all to taste.  (And I do mean, to taste.  I usually end up eating a full half an avocado just from tasting it.)  Mix with table spoon – it will cream up a little bit, but there will still be chunks, which is what makes it good.  And, the highly secret trick:  sink the pit in the middle of the bowl.  It will keep it from turning brown.  I don’t know how it works, I just know it does.  Occasionally, if I’m feeling inclined, I’ll add some garlic (fresh, not powder), or just a little (a tablespoon per avocado) of my favorite salsa.

Grandma’s Backyard

More avocado history

More avocado recipes

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