The earliest record of the avocados existence was an archaeological dig in Peru that uncovered avocado pits buried with a mummy in the eighth century BCE. One theory was that the avocado was believed to have aphrodisiac qualities valuable to this culture even in the afterlife.
As the story goes, in more recent history, when Hernando Cortez conquered Mexico in 1519, he found that the avocado was a staple in the native diet and fell in love with it as soon as he tasted it and brought it home. Who wouldn’t have? Because it reminded him of a dessert pear, he ate it with cheese, which is a disturbing notion “ maybe too much of a good thing — but his countrymen were more inclined to season it with salt, pepper and olive oil, like me.
They are many kinds of hybrid avocados all over the world, but the three main strains in the Americas are the Mexican, the West Indian and the Guatemalan. Avocados are also a staple food in the tropical regions of the world. Check out Saveurs handy avocado identifier, to see which one you’ve got ripening in your fruit bowl today.
Although its old news that avocados are being used in cosmetics, producers have recently started marketing organic avocado oil for epicures, a sexy elixir with a ridiculously high flash point [500F], which makes it ideal for high-temperature searing. Chile, Mexico, California, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are revving up their export engines, but chefs aren’t in a big hurry to use them. The flavours too strong. Unless other elements of the dish are going to be a nod to those avocado flavours, this oil tends to get used raw, as a drizzle, where its best qualities and reshness and richness — can be enjoyed.
Olympic Cheese Mart in the St. Lawrence Market sells Chilean and Californian avocado oils [on the main floor, half-way down the left-hand aisle]. At Whole Foods and Brunello Imports.You can find avocado oils under the Pucara, San Pietro and La Tourangelle brands.
And Finally from my repertoire, but inspired by my wife Stephanie.
Annatto pan-seared sea scallops with a salsa made with avocado, apples, cucumbers and mint.
Yours in good food