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Foodisms: Smart Info About a Smart Food - Avocados

Updated on March 27, 2011

How the Avocado Came to Be Called the Avocado

The use of avocados can be found in evidence dating back to approximately 10,000 years ago. The Aztecs called this food  ahuacati which means testicle because of its shape, and the belief that it offered sexual prowess, Avocados were thought to be a fertility fruit. The Spanish couldn’t say ahuacati and called it aguacate,  The word ahuacatl when combined with other words became ahuacamolli, (like the word guacamole).  Years later, an English merchant named Hawkes mispelled it as alvacata.  The trees started to grow plentiful in the West Indies. In 1696, Sir Hans Sloane, a naturalist who published a book about plants called the tree an avocado or alligator pear tree.  George Washington, as a young man in his travels to Barbados noted in his writing of 1751 that the “agovago pears were abundant and popular in Barbados”. In Spain, it became known as abogado. The French called it avocatier. Trinidad and Tobago it is known as zaboca.  The Dutch, called it avocaat. Jamaica called it by various names asavocado,albecata,  avocato, avigato, and the alligator pear, because of its prickly green exterior skin. The avocado is called the butter fruit by the Chinese.  

Avocado Tree

Montezuma and Cortez
Montezuma and Cortez

Avocados Become Popular Around the World

The history of the avocado and its popularity around the world is tied to the Aztecs of Mexico. It is believed a Mayan pricess ate the first avocado and was endowed with magical and mystical powers.  Montezuma II gave avocados to the Spanish explorer, Hernando Cortez in the mid 1500’s. From the reports of the Spanish conquistadors, avocados were seen grown throughout Mexico, and in Central and South America.  Cortez found that avocados were a main feature in the diets of the people of this region. The Spanish explorers discovered the avocado seeds had a milky liquid within it. When the liquid is exposed to air, it turns reddish brown. They used this as ink. Some documents that have been written with avocado seed liquid are still in existence today.  

The Spaniards were the first Europeans to be introduced to avocados and brought it back to Europe for that part of the world to discover its tastiness,. Because of its creaminess, it was used as a form of butter.  It was considered a luxury food only fit for royalty.  In the 17th and 18th centuries, Europe started to discover and appreciate the tastiness of the avocado.  During approximately the mid 1800’s avocado trees were planted in Floruda and California,  The University of California, Berkeley is thought to have the oldest living avocado tree. The tree was planted in 1879, and still grows on the campus today. New York started to learn about avocados in 1895. In order for avocados to start to gain popularity, the sexual rumors of the avocado had to be dispelled,
  • 1750 Indonesia is introduced to avocados
  • Middle East 1908 were introduced to avocados
  • South Africa and Austraila got avocados in late 1800’s
  • California is the largest grower of avocado in the U.S, with more avocados grown in Fallbrook CA than anywhere else in the United Statesand hosta a yeraly avocado festival each April
  • There are over 6,000 avocado growers in California

Avocados are a SuperFood

The Avocado Festival brings people from all over the U.S. Of the approximately 70,000 attendess 38% outside the San Diego area, and from twelve different states. This year it takes place on April 17, 2011. Approximately 70,000 people attend. The day brings in about $1,750,000 in revenue from store and street booth sales. This year is Fallbrook’s 25th anniversary of the festival.

The avocado is a fruit and is known as a superfood because of the many, many health benefits it offers. It has no cholesterol, no sodium, and is healthy for your heart because of its natural mono and poly unsaturated fat content. In addition, avocados are full of great vitamins and nutrients, including potassium, folate, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. Avocados have sixty percent per ounce, more potassium than bananas. Avocados promote healthy blood flow, and helps to lower blood press

Location of Annual Avocado Festival

A markerfallbrook, ca -
Fallbrook, CA 92028, USA
get directions

Fallbrook, California is the avocado capital of the world. Every April they have a street festival. If you are in the area, you might want to go.

Eating Instructions

To pick the perfect avocado

  • Select avocados that feel firm avocados if you are looking to eat them several day later.
  • If you want to eat them within the next day or so, pick an avocado that presses in when you gently touch it.
  • You can not always tell if an avocado is ripe by its color
  • To ripen avocados, put them in a brown paper bag for a few days, anywhere from 2-5 days. If you need it faster, put a banana or an apple in the bag and keep at room temperature.
  • After the avocados are ripe, you can store them in the refrigerator. When you are ready to eat them, wash skin. Cut the avocado in half, and remove the seed by gently twisting both halves and separate slightly twisting the two halves until they come apart, and remove the seed. With a spoon, you can scoop the avocado meat out of the skin, or you can peel the skin with a knife or a potato peeler.
  • To keep the avocado meat looking fresh and green color sprinkle it with lemon juice, or lime juice, or white vinegar, if you are not eating the avocados right away.

Avocado are a Green Food and Green for the Environment

Avocados are good for the environment. They are one of the lowest fruits and vegetables using pesticides. Avocado orchards help keep our air fresher by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. The trees lower the air temperature in the environmen by evaporating water into their leaves. The roots of the tres help prevent erosion and stabilize the soil they are planted in. The orchards provide necessary shelter for wildlife.

  • There are more than 500 varieties of avocados worldwide.
  • There are 7 different varieties. Hass is the most popular in the United States.
  • One mature avocado tree can produceabout 500 avocados each year (about 200 pounds of fruit) but the average tree produces about 150 avocados (about 60 pounds)
  • Approximately 50 million pounds of avocados are consumed on Super Bowl Sunday
  • Avocados trees are related to bay laurels, camphor and cinnamon plants
  • Hass avocado is the most popular variety and the only one grown year round
  • Avocados are a fruit, related to the berry
  • about 43% of U.S. households buy avocados
  • Avocados were one of Richard Nixon’s (the only U,S, President to resign) favorite foods

You Can Still Love Avocados Even Though Richard Nixon Liked Them Too!

Mash 2 medium-sized avocados. Stir into slightly thickened lemon Jell-O base made with
1 package lemon Jell-O
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups hot water
Stir in 1 can (#2) of grapefruit sections drained, and 1/2 cup chopped celery. Chill and unmold. Serve with a whipped cream and mayonnaise mixture.

recipe source:

The Versatile Avocado Can Be Used for Foods, Faces, and Babies

There are many uses for avocados.

  • good substitute for meats for vegetarians
  • excellent in salads and sandwiches
  • makes a nice addition to chicken
  • can be spread on toast with a little salt and pepper
  • popular as a filling in sushi dishes
  • Brazil, Vietnam, and the Phillipines use avocados for milk shakes, dessert drinks and added to ice cream.
  • great as a dip
  • in home baked bread
  • perfect baby food
  • useful as a facial mask
  • makes a great skin treatment
  • nice as a hair conditioner
  • as an eye cream

Take This Poll About Avocados

Do You Like Avocados?

See results

More Interesting Information

Read about the many uses of lemons

Read about Natural Beauty Remedies

Get Great Party Recipes


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    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Lady, Avocado is a great food all the way around. Glad you stopped by.

    • TheListLady profile image

      TheListLady 6 years ago from New York City

      The thing is - if I eat a few slices of avocado in the morning - I honestly forget to eat for most of the rest of the day. That fruit sates me like no other. Wow!

      Great hub! Thanks and rated up!

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi RP, I am glad I taught you a thing or two. Thanks for stopping by and the kind comments

    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 6 years ago from NY

      love Avocados, thanks for sharing this excellent very informative hub on the Avocado. I definitely learned something new today.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Thanks Jojo, I am always happy to that you dropped by.

    • jojokaya profile image

      jojokaya 6 years ago from USA

      Very informative hub. Rated up

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Aris, Thanks for all your kind comments, and for sharing the many ways you enjoy avocados. Thanks for the up rating.

    • Aris Budianto profile image

      Aris Budianto 6 years ago from Lying along the equator Country

      Great info and great hub, toknowinfo, I like Mr.Richard Nixon's Avocado Salad and also avocado juice plus chocolate milk around the glass, delicious. voted up.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Amber, Thanks for the up rating and for the reminder that avocados don't ripen on the tree, but must be picked after the avocado matures. I appreciate the up rating and your visit.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi kath, Avocados are just great food! Glad you stopped by and gained some info from this article.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Ang, Thanks for stopping by. I am glad you enjoyed this article and I appreciate the up rating.

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from California

      Great Hub - Avocados are the best! I did not know they were a fruit though, mo matter-I still love em! Thanks for the information!

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      I love, love avocadoes. Your hub is full of interesting historical facts and to eat it and how healthy the fruit is. Rated up.

    • Amber Allen profile image

      Amber Allen 6 years ago

      A hub packed full of information about the avocado one of my favorite fruits. Did you know that an avocado can't ripen on the tree. Rated up!


    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Betty,

      As soon as I finish my avocado, I will post the recipes.(LOL)

    • Betty Johansen profile image

      Betty Johansen 6 years ago

      You made me hungry! Can't wait to see your recipes.

    • Ingenira profile image

      Ingenira 6 years ago

      Very interesting information on avocados. I like avocado blended into drinks. Voted up and useful.

    • profile image

      wendy87 6 years ago

      Avocados is really useful but never tried !!!!

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 6 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Wow, there's a lot of information here about avocados which I love to eat just plain...very interesting hub

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Avocados are a very versatile food and have so many benefits. I am compiling another hub with all sorts of avocado recipes. Thanks everyone for the kind comments and up ratings.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Avocados are a very versatile food and have so many benefits. I am compiling another hub with all sorts of avocado recipes. Thanks everyone for the kind comments and up ratings.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      great information. I love avocadoes and it's great to know how good they are for you. I didn't know you could ripen them in a paper bag. I always just set them on the countertop.

    • profile image 6 years ago

      MY kids, especially the eldest, love advocados - and they are so easy to prepare. I just cut in half squeeze lemon and salt onto it and off they go with a spoon. Like an icecream, it keeps them out of your hair for a few minutes!

      Rated this.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi toknowinfo, thanks for all this great information on the avocado, a lot of it i did not know !

      Awesome and vote up !

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 6 years ago

      I too enjoyed your historical information. After having an avocado tree in my yard in California I still enjoy them at least once a week at my table.

    • profile image

      stessily 6 years ago

      I thoroughly enjoyed reading about one of my favorite fruits, the amazing and beautiful avocado. I'll take an avocado any way, shape, place, or time --- sometimes straight up, oftentimes enhancing an already delicious salad. I appreciate all the green and historical information that you have provided in such a readable format.

      Do you have a favorite recipe for avocado?

      Voted up, useful, and amazing.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi BK,

      Avocados are amazing. With such a rich history, so many healthy benfits and they are good for the environment, this food should win an award!

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Amillar,

      Nixon wasn't all bad, he liked avocados, he seemed to like dogs, and... give me a little time to think of some more things.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Cog, So the next time you eat an avocado, you can feel you are eating like a king.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi, The more you know about avocados, the more there is to love about them. Thanks for the up rating.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Golfgal, I like the way you eat avocados. They can go with so many things.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Dah,

      There is more to the avocado than meets the eye!

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Bluestar, Avocados are good for so many things, and I am glad you find them so good too.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Twilight,

      Hopefully my tips on how to pick an avocado will give you some independence to buy avocados for yourself.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Susan, Avocado with garlic powder is delicious!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      More than 500 kinds? Wow! All I know is if I eat a bit of avocado in the morning I forget to eat for hours, way beyond lunch time. The avocado really sates me.

      Thanks for such an informative - and fun - hub. Rated up!

    • amillar profile image

      amillar 6 years ago from Scotland, UK

      Up and useful. Tasty recipes - Richard Nixon can't have been all bad.

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      Lots of interesting tidbits in your hub.....I knew avacodos were very healthy but I did not know avocados were a luxury food only fit for royalty and the magical myths about them...very nice hub...voted up

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for this informative hub about avocados. I

      LOVE them. Before reading your hub, all I knew was how to eat them. :)


    • Golfgal profile image

      Golfgal 6 years ago from McKinney, Texas

      yummy yummy in my tummy. avacado is great with garlic and herbs with chips or on a salad. nice hub.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I never imagined there was that much history to the avocado. Informative hub.I rate this up and useful.

    • thebluestar profile image

      Annette Donaldson 6 years ago from Northern Ireland

      very interesting hub, I love avocado and as a vegetarian and a slimmer know of their benefits to both. They are included in my diet as a 'good fat' and are free from sins on my diet sheet, so bring on the avocado.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I love them but I can never tell whether they are ready to eat when I see them in the supermarket... so usually let someone else buy them for me.

      I have heard it said that the avocado tastes "green". I agree.

      Marked USEFUL.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Interesting hub on the avocado! My favorite way to eat them is with garlic powder sprinkled on them.