If wishes were horses, I would own a farm full of Avocado trees. I've planted two and wish they would start bearing me the damn avocados. I'm so obsessed with them that I once went six straight months in three different countries eating them at least twice a week. So it's not a surprise that this post is dedicated to my favourite fruit and I'm so going to want to eat one after writing this!
About 12 feet tall now!
Avocados are almost tasteless. I know what you're thinking, 'what an anti-climax!', right? All this for a tasteless fruit. But it's buttery like no other butter, juicy and succulent like nothing else in this world and it takes on the flavour of anything you add to it so beautifully. There are no tiny pits or seeds that you need to spit out while eating it, there is nothing in between you and that fresh, green bite of heaven.
Not many people in India know how to deal with this big green 'dinasour egg' looking fruit. Most of the people I have spoken to have said they don't like the taste of it. (But it is tasteless!) You probably just don't know when or how to eat it. I have done a post earlier about guacamole where I also go on to digress about sprouting the seed into a plant. But what do you do with the ripe light green almost-goo thats inside? How do you know when it is right? Do you know how to buy it?
Fear not, because in all my avocado (read guacamole) experiences I have some knowlegde about buying this fruit and using it effectively. Here is what you need to look out for:
1. A Dark Green (Not black) clear skin with minimum or no blemishes
2. Should be hard to slightly hard when you touch
3. Should not have fungus or damaged skin (on the top of the fruit) near where it joins the tree
4. Could be any shape or size, but is usually round like an orange or pear shaped
Where to buy it?
In Bombay, you can get it now in almost any suburban vegetable market. Usually the guys with the "fancy vegetables" like broccoli, zucchini, celery, etc. have it. But I prefer to buy it from Crawford Market.
When to buy?
Avocados are now available almost all year round. But I have heard that the ones after summer are the best. All (or most) of the avocados come from Karnataka to Bombay. Sometimes if you are lucky you will get the Pondicherry ones but I like to believe that the people in Auroville eat it all up, because that is what I did in the two months I spent there.
What to do with them?
Wait till they ripen! It is a very important phase of the fruit. So many ways to hasten the process, but the avocado will take it's own sweet time. Sometimes it can take upto two weeks, so be very patient. Let me tell you it all pays off in the end. If you cut into an unripe avocado be ready for some bitter experiences which will put you off the fruit forever. The best way to know if it is ripe is to press the fruit with a finger. If the skin gives in without too much pressure and you have made an indentation on the fruit, it is ready. You will learn from your mistakes. I have been so eager sometimes to eat the fruit that I cut it open too early and end up with a bitter taste. Sometimes the fruit is not bitter even when it is slightly unripe.
This time I was in for a surprise when I went to pick avocados from my usual vendor. The avocados were bigger than I have ever seen, even bigger than the ones in Mexico! They were literally the size of musk melons, each weighing a kilo! I was jumping inside at the thought of having a HUMONGOUS portion of Guacamole which is exactly what I did for breakfast. This fruit was so big, it made me easily one and a half kilos of guacamole which K and I polished off for breakfast one morning with some toasted bread. We were so full after that we couldn't eat lunch.
The Avocado is as big as my face!
Orange v/s Avocado
Ready for the Guac!
Everytime I buy avocados I decide I am going to try something different with at least one of them. Almost all the time they end up as guacamole because I just cannot resist temptation to eat it immediately. This time I held back and made some avocado ice cream (Yes I made something sweet again, I have cavaties remember). Depending on how big the avocado is, you blend the ripe avocado and add a sweetener with some flavouring. I made some chocolate icecream with it and served it up with some chocolate cake and chocolate ganache since the ice cream was not sweet enough. There is a lot more you could do with it also like put it in raw salads, put it inside sandwiches, burgers or tacos and even puree it to make a raw pasta sauce or mousse.
I don't know why but only when it comes to the avocado, I have no patience to try anything else with it. It's only if I have had two ripe avocados waiting to be opened on the same day will I try anything else with it. I know, I'm crazy.
All hail the Avocado.
Chocolate Avocado Ice cream with Dark Chocolate Cake