Friday, June 3, 2011

Sometimes you must agree to disagree...

I have been hearing a lot about avocados lately.  First, I read an article about the health benefits them.  Then, I saw a poll in a magazine asking your favorite way to enjoy an avocado.  (I was torn between "plain with salt" and "as guacamole".  Both are so incredibly delicious, how could I choose between them, really?  In the end I settled on guacamole, but that came after a great argument back and forth raging through my head.)  Finally, I got in a debate about which way is the best to eat an avocado -- the Brazilian style or the American way.  I seem to be having this conversation a lot lately.

Sheesh, this seems to be much ado about nothing.  But no, it is not.  We are not talking about nothing here, we are talking about avocados, one of the most versatile and delicious fruits ever created. 

I, for one, am happiest when my avocado is surrounded by turkey slices, cream cheese, tomatoes, bread, and (most importantly) Guigni's Juice.  If you know what I am talking about, then you know what I am talking about.  For those of you less fortunate folks out there, let's suffice it say that you are missing out.  You may enjoy your avocados any way you like, but you are missing out. 

A few years back I had an experience that shattered my knowledge of avocados.  I was quietly minding my own business (in other words, I have no idea what I was actually doing) when my friend Querubia brought me a tall glass with something green inside.  "Try it," she requested, passing it off to me.  I had no idea what I was trying, but I am usually game for anything so I did.  "Well," she asked expectantly, "what do you think?"  Hmm.  Good question.  What did I think? 

"I think..."  Wait.  "I think..." (insert another sip)  "I think it tastes like a turkey sandwich!"

By the quick shake of her head and puzzled expression I could tell that was not the answer she expected.  She had made me an avocado smoothie and I told her it tasted like a sandwich.  In my defense, up until that moment I have only ever enjoyed avocados in sandwiches, salads, and guacamole.  Well, and plain with a little salt thrown on top, of course.   

Here is where my dilemma comes.  I, being raised in America, know that an avocado is a fruit yet I treat it like a vegetable.  In fact, the very definition of avocado shows me that this is to be expected:

av·o·ca·do  NOUN
green-fleshed edible fruit: a fruit with a leathery dark green or blackish skin, a large stony seed, and soft smooth-tasting pale green flesh, eaten raw in salads or dips
Yet, when I searched for a definition in Portuguese, I just saw the first part -- the fruit part.  No salads, no dips.  Although Paulo now has a taste for them in his sandwiches and enjoys guacamole like the rest of us, given his options, he would rather mash it up with sugar and lemon, grab a spoon, and enjoy. 

You should have seen the looks on the faces of the aunts and uncles in Brazil when I prepared guacamole for them.  Squeezing lime juice in didn't surprise them, but the next step did.  "Sal?" they asked.  "Cebola?!"   Yes, I put salt and onion in my avocado mix.  Weird?  I don't think so, but apparently south of the equator it is.  Timidly they approached the bowl with the crackers (I couldn't find tortilla chips in the store) and sampled just a teeny, tiny bitA few faces were made, shifty eyes moved around the crowd gauging the other responses and then finally someone yelled out, "Muito bom!"   It was not just good, it was very good. 

Now, whenever I am at Tio Nene's house a request is made for guacamole and whenever Paulo mixes up his plate of sweet avocado spread I grab a small spoon to join in.  We may have our preferences, but we have crossed the cultural boundaries and prejudices.  Avocados can be enjoyed salty or sweet, in a salad or in a smoothie.

If only we could do the same with the debate of which country grows the best avocados...
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Guacamole (as I make it)
Mash 2 ripe avocados with the juice of 1 lime.  Add in 1/2 onion, finely chopped, and 1 tomato, chopped.  Add a dash or two of salt and stir.

Vitamina de Abacate (Avocado Smoothie)
Honestly, this one tastes best with Brazilian avocados (which are larger, have a softer skin, and are slimier in texture).  Mix the flesh of 1 avocado, 2 cups of milk, and 2 tablespoons of sugar in the blender.  Makes two cups.

Creme de Abacate (Avocado Cream OR Paulo's Style Avocado in our house)
Mash an avocado with fresh squeezed lime juice and a tablespoon of sugar with a fork.  Voila!
  

Avocado on FoodistaAvocado

7 comments:

  1. Fascinating!! I love guacamole just as you make it but with cilantro too (that's a whole 'nother debate in our house). I think now I have to try it the 'brazillian' way. I've never even thought of trying avocado with sugar.

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  2. Querubia MoreiraJune 5, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    How can I forget that day?!..haha.. It was funny! I was kind of disappointed that you compared my wonderful avocado smoothie with TURKEY SANDWICH?????...haha.. I learned to like guacamole and other recipes using salty avocados, but I still LOVE our brazilian sweet avocado smoothie. I like it even better with honey than suggar. YUMMY!!! :) I loved this blog, by the way. First time I visited it but I will come more often. Very good one!

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  3. But Turkey sandwiches are GOOD! ;)

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  4. When it comes to avocados I honestly can't decide what is my favorite way to enjoy I haven't found them bad in anything yet. Good post today!

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  5. Either way,I love avocados!I sometimes freeze avocado smoothies to popsicles and my son loves it.I found you from the foodie blog roll and I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your site. I hope you could add this avocado widget at the end of this post so we could add you in our list of food bloggers who blogged about avocado,Thanks!

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  6. Thanks Alisa for letting me know about it. It is done. And I just heard about avocado popsicles two days ago -- not sure how I feel about that yet :P Anyway, I am excited that I am now an avocado Foodista ;)

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  7. When Husband and I first started dating, I asked him if he liked avocados. He said, "Yes, but not in ice cream." I had to confirm that we were talking about the same thing, which, indeed, we were. I was surprised to find out that Filipinos eat their avocados with sweetened condensed milk. We were married for 7 years before I would consider eating avocado sweet. I don't mind it so much now, but I still prefer it with salt and a little lemon!

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