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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Spain & Portugal / July's Tag Game - Aguacate (Avocado)
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    July's Tag Game - Aguacate (Avocado)

    NorthwestGal
    Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:13 pm
    Forum Host



    Aguacate (Avocado)


    ~ Avocados are a fruit of the flowering plant in the Lauraceae family (along with cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel) that is indigenous to Mexico, first being cultivated by the Aztecs dating back to the early 1500s. Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo, a chronicler of the early conquistadors, favorably mentioned the avocado in his reports dated 1526, describing the buttery texture and pleasant taste. But of all the details, the name itself is what bears the most amusing tale. As the story goes, when Spaniards first encountered Aztecs, they were served Ahuacacauahuitl (or testicle fruit, in Huahtl). However, the Spaniards could not pronounce the word, and the name for this exciting new food product underwent a crude transformation and eventually became known as the ‘avocado’.

    Yet, among all the foods that the Spanish conquistadors brought back with them after their explorations of the Americas, the avocado was the slowest to catch on; it took nearly 5,000 years for the avocado to really gain any attention throughout all of Europe. However, the avocado did catch on, especially in Spain. They are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. And today, Spain is the single largest European avocado producer, exporting several tons to many countries world-wide. The Costa del Sol, along the Mediterranean Sea from Granada to Malaga is the largest producer, though the Canary Islands also produce a significant amount of the world’s avocado crop.


    ~ Today, there are almost 500 known avocado varieties, though only a handful are commercially grown and sold in markets. The most interesting aspect of avocado is that it can be picked stone-hard and will ripen off the tree. And avocados can be left on the tree for up to six months and will not ripen. Avocados can range in weight from 1 ounce or up to 4 pounds each. Avocaditos are a cocktail-sized version of the avocado that is about the size of a small gherkin, weighing in at about one ounce.

    Avocados are from one of two flowering plants, either A or B cultivar (which describes the differences in pollination and flower phases of the plants). The A cultivars include Hass, Gwen, Lamb Hass, Pinkerton and Reed. The B cultivars include Fuerte, Shawil, Zutano, Bacom, Ettinger, Sir Prize and Walter Hole. There are a handful of other varieties, though they are not commercially grown and are not well known nor are they widely used.

    ~ Among the different varieties, the Hass Avocado is perhaps the most common variety that is produced and sold in markets year-round, accounting for more than 80% of the world’s avocado crop.



    Cooking with Avocados

    Avocados are generally best enjoyed raw, though they are quite versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. It can be served as a shell for shrimp or seafood cocktails, it can be mashed into the classic guacamole dip, it can be sliced or diced and added to fresh tossed salads or tortillas and sandwiches, it can be mashed into a paste and added to salsas, stews and other dishes. The Hass variety can be cooked for short periods of time without becoming bitter. However, prolonged cooking should be avoided as the flesh of most avocado varieties can quickly become inedible when heated.

    In some areas, avocados are quite popular in blended drinks, milkshakes, and for making a morning “power” smoothie.

    ~ Sometimes though, the best way to enjoy an avocado is to peel the skin away, remove the pit, and enjoy fresh avocado slices as a healthy in-between-meals snack.


    Health Benefits

    Avocados are quite nutritious and easy to digest. They contain oil (30 percent comparable to olive oil –monounsaturated) and many important vitamins, minerals and necessary nutrients for a healthy body. In short, avocados are healthy! Did you know that avocados contain about 35% more potassium than bananas?

    Avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food product (which nutrient density is a measure of the amount of nutrients a food contains in comparison to its caloric value), and they provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, magnesium, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, many of the B-vitamins, folic acid, and lutein (important for eye and skin health). They also act as a "nutrient booster" by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit.

    ~ Diets rich in fruits and vegetables, such as avocados, may reduce the risk of many health conditions, including some types of cancers and other chronic diseases. Studies have shown that avocados are one of the few fruits that provide “good” fats which can help reduce blood cholesterol levels and decrease the risk for heart disease.

    Avocados are also a key component in the well-known Mediterranean Diet. In addition, avocados are included in the dietary guidelines set forth by many leading health and diet associations, including the American Heart Association (AHA), USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, USDA's MyPlate program, American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Food Pyramid, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition’s California Cuisine Food Pyramid, Oldways Preservation & Exchange Trust’s Mediterranean, Vegetarian and Latin American Diet Pyramids and Med Mark Program, and The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet Eating Plan.






    …………….....................……………Tag Game
    For this month’s tag game, we have selected an array of Spanish (and other) recipes from the site’s database that include avocados as an ingredient. You are free to tag one of the recipes we found, or you are free to pick any other recipe in the database that includes avocados. And there is no limit; you can tag as many recipes as you can make and review before the end of the month.


    Featured Spanish Recipes ~ Avocado


    ~ Avocado Lime Salad #207168 (by Sharon123)
    Popular in Spain, this refreshing salad features plenty of fresh avocado, tomatoes and scallions for a healthy side dish or delicious snack anytime of the day.

    ~ Raw Vegan Avocado Gazpacho #443241 (by The Blender Girl)
    A cool summer Gaspacho recipe that features fresh avocado, limes, cilantro, and a plethora of other flavorful ingredients.

    ~ Chef Flower's Simple Avocado Dip #256081 (by Chef floWer)
    The fresh avocados in this version of the classic guacamole dip are processed to a smooth texture and served with your favorite tortilla chips.




    Tapas (Appetizers and Snacks)




    Avocado Quesadillas #51670
    Avocado Bruschetta #134453
    Avocado Nut Bread #123454
    Avocado Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes #96143
    Cucumber Slices With Smoked Salmon and Avocado Cream #274333
    Mini Crab Cakes With Avocado Salsa #370810


    Main Dishes




    Avocado Cashew Enchiladas #160481
    Pan Grilled Chicken with Avocado and Red Onion Salsa #24253
    Crab Salad in Avocado Halves #309153
    Spicy Bean and Avocado Tostadas #396071
    Smoked Salmon Burger (Tomato, Red Onion and Avocado) #306206
    Flautas De Pollo With Avocado Cream #393832


    Sopas (Soups)




    Mango-Avocado Soup #35718
    Avocado and Lime Soup #156443
    Chilled Avocado Orange Soup #93690
    Avocado & Cucumber Soup #151500
    Avocado Soup (Sopa De Aguacate) #109866
    Creamy Avocado Gazpacho #201991


    Ensaladas (Salads)




    Chickpea, Avocado and Sun-Dried Tomato Salad #14070
    Avocado Mandarin Salad #27131
    Avocado Cashew Enchiladas #160481
    Mango, Avocado and Arugula Salad #304213
    Grapefruit and Avocado Salad #54043
    Pear and Avocado Salad #101979


    Sandwiches




    Avocado and Egg Salad #88433
    BLT With Avocado Spread #238325
    Tomato, Cucumber, & Avocado Sandwich #17286
    Avocado-Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich #412128
    Seaside Garden Sandwich #322769
    Tomato, Cheese, and Avocado Sandwich #111940


    NorthwestGal
    Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:15 pm
    Forum Host
    Participants' Aguacate Recipes

    NorthwestGal’s Avocado Recipes
    Seaside Garden Sandwich #32769
    Zesty Polynesian Scallops #370078
    Creamy Mexican Salsa #343834
    NorthwestGal
    Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:16 pm
    Forum Host
    The Tags

    Gemini08
    icon_biggrin.gif Mango, Avocado and Arugula Salad (by WiGal)
    icon_biggrin.gif Avocado-Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich by TasteTester

    Loula
    icon_biggrin.gif Silky Chocolate Pudding (Vegan) by duonyte

    NorthwestGal
    icon_arrow.gif Grapefruit and Avocado Salad by Barb Gertz

    Sharon123
    icon_arrow.gif Avocado "bacon" Sandwich! #436785


    Last edited by NorthwestGal on Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:39 pm, edited 2 times in total
    gemini08
    Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:23 pm
    Food.com Groupie

    Hi, Northwestgal,
    completed "Mango, Avocado and Arugula Salad" by WiGal. Delicious salad and the dressing is outstanding!
    gemini08
    NorthwestGal
    Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:19 am
    Forum Host
    gemini08 wrote:

    Hi, Northwestgal,
    completed "Mango, Avocado and Arugula Salad" by WiGal. Delicious salad and the dressing is outstanding!
    gemini08


    That is one gorgeous photo, Gemini08. It should be Photo of the Day!

    And I've updated above.
    Sharon123
    Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:16 pm
    Forum Host
    Hi! I'd like to make Avocado "bacon" Sandwich! #436785 for this month.
    NorthwestGal
    Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:38 pm
    Forum Host
    Sharon123 wrote:
    Hi! I'd like to make Avocado "bacon" Sandwich! #436785 for this month.


    If you need a taste-tester, I'd like to volunteer icon_wink.gif

    I have your tag listed above, Sharon.
    gemini08
    Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:17 pm
    Food.com Groupie

    Hi, again, NorthWestgal,
    I have completed "Avocado-Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich" by TasteTester. Delicious sammie!
    Gemini08
    Lalaloula
    Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:57 am
    Forum Host
    Gemini,

    wow, your sammie looks soooo tasty! Very fresh, colourful and flavourful! YUMMMMM! yummy.gif

    Ill get your completion noted above and hope youll join us for next month's game when we focus on the lovely fennel plant. icon_biggrin.gif

    Loula
    NorthwestGal
    Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:15 pm
    Forum Host
    Before the month ends, I would like to add my tag for this month's tag game. I would like to make Grapefruit and Avocado Salad #54043 (posted by Barb Gertz). It looks so refreshing and delicious, and just the perfect lunch for these warm summer days we're having.
    gemini08
    Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:20 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Lalaloula wrote:
    Gemini,

    wow, your sammie looks soooo tasty! Very fresh, colourful and flavourful! YUMMMMM! yummy.gif

    Ill get your completion noted above and hope youll join us for next month's game when we focus on the lovely fennel plant. icon_biggrin.gif

    Loula

    Thanks, Loula, the Avocado really made the sandwich!
    Lalaloula
    Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:04 am
    Forum Host
    Hey hey everyone,

    thank you so much for playing another fun game with us! icon_biggrin.gif Sadly I didnt have much time to cook myself, but I managed to squeeze in one recipe before the month was over. Ive made and very much enjoyed duonyte's Silky Chocolate Pudding (Vegan) #480520. yummy.gif
    Ill add my pic here once it gets through and Ill also get a banner ready for your AM page.

    I hope to see you in August's game! icon_biggrin.gif

    Loula
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