February 16, 2007

The Irresistible Avocado

What is it that is so alluring about the avocado? I ask myself this question every time I pass these funny-looking, dimpled things in the grocery store. This fruit (Yes, fruit! Perhaps somewhat akin to the tomato veggie/fruit debate—it just doesn’t seem to fit.) originates from Central America and grows on a tree. It has most in common with berries, although you can hardly call it that. It is sometimes called an “alligator pear”—which I find absolutely enchanting— because of it’s pear-like shape and tough green skin. My first encounter with avocados was when my mom would make seven-layer bean dip (yum!) with them. I remember seeing her mash them up and wondering how something the color of boogies could possibly taste good. I winced with disgust—similar to the reaction I first had to kiwi. (“Yuck! You mean that’s a fruit! I’m not eating that!”) But, upon trying the greenish goo, I was pleasantly surprised.

Besides, avocado is an essential ingredient to many a dish. Without avocado, it would just be six-layer dip. It would take the “guaca” right out of the guacamole, and you’d just be left with plain old “mole.” Actually, there is hardly a Mexican meal that tastes complete without some smushed avocado on the slide. Avocado has been making appearances in many types of food, thanks to Californians. You can get all kinds of sandwiches with avocado. I love avocado with spaghetti or salad, and let us not forget the infamous California roll. A whole new look at sushi, making it equally appealing to the masses. My mouth waters just thinking about it. (forbidden donut . . . )

That brings me to the only qualm I have with this wondrous fruit. One avocado contains as much as 30 grams of fat. That’s as much fat as you would find in a burger from Mickey D’s. Hard to believe, isn’t it? But it is true. However, recent discovery has shown that not all fats are created equal. Although avocados are fattening, they are full of “good fat.” (Can there be such a thing!) It has been proven that an avocado-rich diet actually lowers cholesterol. But, just the same, you may need to run off a little extra poundage at the end of the day. Truly, I can’t hold it against the “butter pear”—much less enchanting—it is still delicious and certainly all-natural. To me, the pros outweigh the cons. This fruit used to look good to me, but now I find it simply irresistible.


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Ry-No said...

I am glad a pear-like shape and tough green skin is enchanting, because that is what I'm starting to look like. Well, except for the green part. It's more like tough white skin. If I were an avacado, I'd be an albino. An albinocado.