AKA the Alligator Pear, butter pear, butter fruit, or avo. Our English word comes from the Spanish aguacate, which in turn comes from the Nahuatl word ahuakatl; in many countries in South America it more likely to be called a palta, from the Quechua word pallta.

Avocados are a green or black, pear-shaped fruit which usually has a rough, bumpy skin and always has a large seed in the middle (both skin and seed are inedible). The fruit in between is green, soft, and delicious. They are usually eaten with silverware rather than with bare hands. Popular seasonings include lemon juice or salt, and some people pepper them too. Avocados are probably best known in America as an ingredient for dips, particularly guacamole.

Avocados are native to South America, and although they have spread around the world in the past few centuries, most avocados are still exported from Mexico. In the USA we grow our own supply, the best-known avocado growing state being California.

Avocado trees grow fast and can reach up to 18 meters (80 feet) tall. They are evergreens (but not conifers), because they grow in tropical and semi-tropical climates. They have small yellow-green flowers, which are often hard to see against the foliage.

All avocados are high in oil. (The only fruit with more oil than avocados are olives). The average avocado contains about 35 grams of fat, mostly monounsaturated fat. They are also rich in potassium, B vitamins, and vitamin E.

Some Biology

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Laurales
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Persea
Species: americana

See also, Guacamole, Cukes, Coyo, Anay.