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Avocado Salad

Updated on June 23, 2016

Avocado Salad

One of the more popular side dishes in South Florida is the Avocado Pear. Used widely in Cuban diets, avocados and the salad that Conchs from Key West make is enjoyed by many, and not just those in this area. Although they are high in fat content, these pears provide some of the essential fats and vitamins so they are in many ways healthier than most! Come on in and sit a spell while I tell you how we like our avocados. If you're a fan of the pears as well, then this recipe will be one you'll love!

Avocados
Avocados

What? It's not a vegetable?

While many tend to think so, the avocado is actually a fruit. It was first discovered by Spanish Conquistadores in the early 1500's growing from Mexico down through Central and South America. The Aztec's called them "ahuacatl" which was the word for testicle which the pear's shape resembled and considered them a fertility fruit. It soon grew favor with the Spanish and eventually others, but is a staple in Spanish cuisines.

The Conchs of Key West were fortunate when in the early 1800's, it's believed that the first avocado tree was planted in Florida by Judge Henry Perrine who had served as United States Consul in Campeche, Mexico. In recognition of his service, and to support his bringing tropical plants into the area, the government granted him a survey township of land in South Florida. Although the land, now known as Perrine sits about midway between Miami and Homestead, the judge made his residence in Indian Key Florida insuring that the trees and the fruit would make it's way through the keys to key West.

So what's the best way to eat these?

Like many foods, there's a variety of ways to eat avocados. Once ripened, the pears can be used to make guacamole, salads, or simply eaten by itself with just lime juice and salt . While fans of Mexican food know about guacamole, many are not familiar with other forms of eating it. The biggest problem may be getting them cut and prepared, but once you're familiar with that part, the rest will come easy.

Although avocados do not ripen on the tree, it is important to let them grow to full maturity. Once picked it's generally a few days to ripen, and they're ready to go when they have a slight give when feeling them, and should have a slight rattle with the seed inside. Make sure they do not feel too soft or else they could be badly bruised and inedible.

Next step is to take a sharp knife and slice through the pear until you hit the seed. Continue around the pear until you can remove the entire half intact. When properly ripened, it will lift off easily, and the seed should come right out. The outside skin is rather tough (in fact some call them Alligator Pears as my family from Key West did, due to the skin), but can be easily peeled off and discarded leaving the firm yellow and green flesh of the pear.

Avocado Salad, Conch style
Avocado Salad, Conch style

The family favorite, Avocado Salad.

Although some places serve Avocado Salad with onion or lettuce, the salad Conchs make is a bit different. Of course not the healthiest of ways, but our preference for sure. Some that have tried plain avocado think it's rather bland, but when prepared in a manner such as this, it's a wonderful taste that definitely grows on you.

One of the long standing jokes in the family came about when my daughter in her younger years refused to eat it. At the urging of her grandfather to just try it one time, she did and ever since has loved it. In fact, leaving her in charge of the salad bowl is akin to letting Colonel Sanders watch your chickens. If you want some, you had better be sure to get it the first time the bowl is passed around the table.

A simple salad to prepare, try it next time you have some avocados and see if it doesn't change your mind about the pear! Of course this is one of those dishes that no one ever used a recipe for, it was just one you made by "eyeing" the ingredients. If you're like our family, there's always room for more bacon and onion, so be sure to taste as you go, and you can always adjust as you go.

In addition to the avocados, the items you need are mayonnaise, onions, a little lime juice and bacon and you're all set. Prepare the avocados as above and the rest is as follows:

Dice the avocados into cubes (the pears vary in size but an average one should yield a couple of cups), and immediately sprinkle with lime juice (1 to 2 Tbsp.). Of course Conchs use and prefer key Limes, but any lime will do. This not only adds flavor, but will also keep your avocado from turning brown. Then add chopped onion (1/2 cup or so), and crumbled bacon (we like a lot, but add to your own taste, generally at least a half pound fried). Then add mayonnaise and mix until you have a nice creamy salad! Salt and pepper to taste and you're ready to enjoy!

Let me know you stopped by! - and if you've had Avocado Salad, or will now try it.

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    • profile image

      julieannbrady 3 years ago

      Guess what? I have three avocados or is it avocadoes sitting on the sink ...

    • CozyKitty profile image

      CozyKitty 4 years ago

      I almost wanted to answer "all of the above." Usually, we just drizzle a little olive oil over them, and sprinkle with a little sea salt.

      Your recipe sound delicious, though. Definitely have t try it some time! :)

    • nolinel lm profile image

      nolinel lm 5 years ago

      I see your avo soup got no votes. I prefer my avo raw, but I sometimes uses avo to thicken soups.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My mother, a born and bred Conch, loved avocado more than anyone I know. Her father and mother were also born in Key West. My dad (who actually did the electrical work on the lighthouse when it was converted from lanterns to electricity) was in the Lighthouse Service and when that became a part of the Coast Guard, shortly before the start of World War II, he was transferred to Jacksonville. He always said that it took an act of Congress to get my mother out of Key West. He spent the latter part of his career in Miami, where he died in 1971. While we lived in Miami, we had two avocado trees in the back yard. Between the two trees and their different times of the year to bear fruit, my mom had avocados just about year round and ate them three times a day. She would mash the meat with a fork and spread it on toast for breakfast and slice it, drizzle it with fresh Key Lime juice, sprinkle it with salt and pepper and eat it for lunch. We also had two Key Lime trees in the back yard so she never had to use Persian limes. And we always had a bottle or two of Old Sour and sometimes she used that instead. At suppertime, she would make an avocado salad, much as you described, to round out our dinner. She never got tired of them. I know they are high in calories but I don't think she ever hit 100 pounds on the scales. Thanks for the memories your post inspired.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      Love avocado - one of my favourites is avocado on toast with pepper.

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 5 years ago

      Yum! I just put together a recipe for the lettuce version, but this one looks better! Can't wait to try it!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I was looking for samples of you avocado salad but it looks like they've all been taken so will have to make this yummy delicious recipe for myself. I don't know if you are interested, but we do have a recipe module available that you could just copy and paste into and your readers would have a printable version.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      Yeah, I did stop by today for a little bite ... thank you!

    • Swisstoons profile image

      Thomas F. Wuthrich 6 years ago from Michigan

      Without a doubt, one of my favorite foods. I like it simple...in a big salad: head of romaine lettuce, albacore tuna, chunks of avocado, lemon juice, olive oil, freshly ground pepper...served with a glass of red wine and bread on the side. I have it several times a week. Always, Haas avocado. Not wild about the other larger variety.

    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 6 years ago

      Avocados are so good and so good for you. Yummy!

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Avocados are amazingly healthy and go great with salads. When I first was introduced to it, I thought it was a vegetable as well. **Blessed by a Squid-Angel**

    • howdoyouspellst profile image

      howdoyouspellst 7 years ago

      I LOVE avocados. They're my favorite. So good with salt, straight out of the skin with a spoon. I absolutely want to try an avocado salad!!! Sounds amazing!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      YUMMY, I'm craving avacado salad now! My grandfather was a smart man pushing me to try that! Every time I eat it I think of him and thank him. Wonderfully written as usual. You are a brilliant writter! Love you Dad!

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 7 years ago

      Love avo's, love the story about your daughter. Our family love them as a starter with some seafood (prawns etc) and a dressing in the hollow of the avo. Blessed by an Angel.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      We love avocado in our house! Eaten by itself or in salad.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      Well hi there my friend! Me? I love avocado any way I can get it. I even like it right out of the "shell" with Ken's balsamic vinegar dressing. Delish!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I have enjoyed Acocado dip. Nice lens.

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      LittleRedHen 7 years ago

      Very nice. Family recipes are made to be passed down and enjoyed. I think I will forget the calories and have some with dinner.