- Avocados are members of the Laurel family (Lauraceae).
- The common name avocado is derived from the Aztec word for testicle.
- Avocados are about one third fat (although most of this is the monounsaturated kind).
- Avocados have been cultivated since 8000BC.
Scientific Name: Persea americana
Etymology: The name Avocado comes from the Aztec word ‘ahuacatl’ meaning testicle.
Also Known as: Avocado pear, aguacate, alligator pear
Uses: Avocados are extremely nutritious fruits. They are high in vitamins A, B and E.
There are over 1000 varieties of cultivated avocados.
How to tell if an avocado is ripe
Although the greengrocer won’t like you doing it, the best way to tell if an avocado is ripe is to give it a poke. But what should a ripe avocado feel like? The best way to think of it is to compare it with your face. If you poke the middle of your forehead, that’s like an avocado that is not yet ripe. If you poke your cheek, that feels like an avocado that is too ripe. What you want is something that feels the same as when you poke the end of your nose – there is a bit of give, but not too much (thanks to Gabrielle Gate for this tip!)