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The Avocado Fruit

Updated on February 3, 2016
An Avocado tree in Andalusia, Southern Spain
An Avocado tree in Andalusia, Southern Spain
Fuerte is the Avocado with the smooth skin.
Fuerte is the Avocado with the smooth skin.
Hass is the textured Avokado
Hass is the textured Avokado
Avocado is also known as 'Testis Fruit" because of the similarity with a man's balls - when the fruit is hanging in pairs - close together.
Avocado is also known as 'Testis Fruit" because of the similarity with a man's balls - when the fruit is hanging in pairs - close together.

Where Does The Avocado Come From?

If you have a Spanish neighbor who has a piece of land in the Campo (countryside), then you have probably received a bag of avocados from time to time. Or maybe you are so lucky to have an avocado tree in your garden . But what can avocados be used for and how to cultivate the fruit?

Avocado trees are ancient.
Southern Spain is one of the few places in Europe where soil conditions, access to irrigation and climate conditions make it possible to grow avocados, which originally came from Central America.

The Spaniards brought the avocado tree to Spain in 1601. Using the "carbon-14 method" has dated remains of avocado in Indian graves to be at least 10,000 years old . So it's not a youngster, we are dealing with!

The commercial cultivation of avocado takes place today in many countries - tropical and sub-tropical, which means that we as consumers can buy avocados year round.

Avocado fruit is usually pear shaped and of the size of a large pear or larger. The surface come smooth or textured - depending on the variety. "Fuerte" is the smooth and "Hass" the textured. Fuerte remains smooth and green with pale spots or dots, while the Hass variety chances from bright green over brown-green to nearly black purple.

In the Mediterranean, it is primarily Israel and Spain who grow avocados for the export market.

Dear child has many names, and that includes the avocado fruit. In Spanish is called the "aguacate". Some call it "Butter Fruit" because of the soft texture of the flesh, when the fruit is ripe. Others call it the "Alligator Pear," because the fruit skin looks like alligator skin. Finally it is also known as 'Testis Fruit" because of the similarity with a man's balls - when the fruit is hanging in pairs - close together.

Avocados Are Good For Your Heart

Avocado: Botany, Production and Uses

Plant Your Own Avocado Tree

You can put the avocado stone from a recently eaten fruit directly into a pot with soil. Remember that the widest end of the seed must turn down.

If you make sure to keep the soil sufficiently moist, but not too wet and seeks a temperature of around 25 degrees during the day and approx. 15 at night - your new avocado tree will sprout in approximately 3 weeks.

If you just want a beautiful evergreen plant, it is a nice idea with the seed in the pot, but if you want to see results within the foreseeable future - buy your tree at a nursery.

A seedling tree is usually five to six years old before the first fruits can be harvested, but at the nursery you can buy an older tree that is grafted. And that gives fruits much quicker.

The key to tree's well being is that you plant it in a well-drained soil in a place where it is sheltered from the wind.

Avocado can grow in different soil types. The best type of soil has a pH of 5.0 to 5.8.

Avocado require some fertilizer, especially during the growing season and during fruit formation. Since we have long periods of drought here in southern Spain, it is necessary to water.

A good tip is to cover the area just below the tree with straw; it partly counteract the evaporation and also prevents the fungus, which makes the roots rot.

The tree can be up to 20 meters, but it is a good idea to prune it heavily, so fruit picking don't have to be on stilts.

If you only want a single tree, ask for the Hass variety ... it is self-pollinating. It takes 6-12 months from pollination to fruit can be harvested.

Harvesting Avocados

When avocados are ripe on the Costa del Sol varies depending on where the tree is located. There are large height differences here, which means something for the temperature and thus maturation. A tree gives an average of between 100 to 500 fruits per year.

The Hass variety is darker in colour when it matures, but the smooth sort remains green. When avocados yield to gentle pressure - it is ripe. If you try to eat it before it is soft and ripe, it tastes completely horrible. The fruit does not ripen on the tree, so pick them when the size looks right. But remember, once you have picked the fruit, it can only be kept for 2-7 days at room temperature. Avocados ripen faster when stored with apples or tomatoes.

Avocado with Shrimps
Avocado with Shrimps

Avocado in Cooking

Avocados are one of our most energy-rich fruits. It has a high content of unsaturated fatty acids and also a large contents of vitamins B, C, D, E and K.

In addition, avocados contain iron, copper, potassium and dietary fiber. Many note the high fat content (5.8 to 23 grams per liter. 100 g). Nevertheless the avocado fruit is good for slimming and even good for your cholesterol.

The nutritious fruit can be used for many different things in cooking. Salads, starters and desserts are just a few possibilities.

An avocado is cut best lengthwise. It is easy to cut around the pit or seed, which usually release the flesh easily. The flesh discolor quickly in free air, which could be addressed by dripping a little lemon over the bared flesh.


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    • A Dane in Spain profile image

      Dorte Holm Jensen 6 years ago from Torrox, Malaga. Spain

      You are welcome,! Good question...I am afraid my knowledge doesn’t stretch to explain the "carbon-14 method" in details, but maybe somebody passing by this hub will be able to?

    • profile image 6 years ago

      Love Avocados - we have them at least 4-5 times a week in something. Good with eggs or corn chips and salsa.

      Thanks for the history - 10,000 year old avocado pits would be really something to see. Wonder how they fix it?!