20 Facts About Avocados
Last updated on November 12, 2007
Avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable.
There are more than 500 avocado varieties.
Avocados are native to Central and South America, where they have been cultivated for over 10,000 years.
Another name for the avocado is the “alligator pear,” so-called because of its alligator skin texture and pear shape.
The Aztec word for avocado was ahuacatl, which means “testicle tree”.
Spanish explorers could not pronounce ahuacatl, so they called the avocado aguacate. This is the origin of the word guacamole.
The origin of guacamole is the Aztec avocado sauce called ahuaca-hulli.
Avocados were first introduced to the United States in 1871, when Judge R.B. Ord planted three trees in Santa Barbara, California.
The Hass is the most common avocado in the United States and is the only avocado grown year round.
Rudolph Hass, a postman, patented the Hass avocado tree in 1935. The first Hass avocado tree is still alive and producing fruit.
Mexico is the world’s top producer of avocados, with California coming in second.
California boasts 7,000 avocado groves. San Diego County produces 60% of California avocados. Florida is the second main producer in the United States.
Aside from the United States and Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Colombia are the world’s top producing countries.
One tree can produce between 150 and 500 avocados per year.
The average avocado contains 300 calories and 30 grams of healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat.
Avocados have the highest protein content of any fruit.
Avocados contain more potassium than bananas.
One avocado contains 81 mcg of lutein, an important nutrient for healthy eyes.
Once an avocado is picked, it takes between 7 and 10 days to ripen. Keeping it in the refrigerator will slow down the ripening process, while putting it in a paper bag with a ripe apple will speed up the process.
On average, 53.5 million pounds of guacamole are eaten every Super Bowl Sunday, enough to cover a football field more than 20 feet thick.
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