Avocados are as loved as they are hated, despite this fruit having seen a rapid rise in sales as retailers strive to make it available year-round.
The benefits of avocado are enormous, and it is gaining popularity and the health industry has taken full advantage of it as an add-on ingredient in pizzas, pastas, salads and on toast.
Avocado is high in fiber, antioxidants, healthy fats, plus a number of vitamins and minerals, all of which are good for our immune system.
The consumer survey from the South African Association of Avocado Growersrevealed that locals prefer to eat their avocados sliced or scooped from the avo skin and in salads, Subtrop’s Derek Donkin said during the avo season media launch on La Parada restaurant in Parkhurst, Johannesburg.
He went on to say that their research found that 49% of people liked avocados in their pizzas, while 41% added avo in their pasta.
The stone fruit originates from Mexico to Guatemala, making it the largest producer in the world, producing 2.5 million tons of avocados, representing the tremendous growth of this market.
South Africa has about 3000 hectares and dozens of farmers to grow this fruit.
Why avocados are now available annually:
avocados range from green skin and dark skin.
The green-skinned avos are buttery and creamy.
Varieties include Fuerte, Edranol, Ryan, Reed and Pinkerton and are available from March to October, while the rich, nutty, dark Hass has varieties such as Maluma Hass and Lamb Hass available from March to November.
Avocados used to be only available from March to October. But after developing a strategy, this popular fruit is now available all year round.
Donkin explains that in some areas, such as the Limpopo regions, the avos are picked earlier due to the warmer weather, while other areas, such as the Western Cape, pick their avos a little later, allowing them to supply avocados all year round.
Spanish avocado tapas menu
To show the best in avocados we were served Spanish style tapasas Spain is a major supplier of avocados in Europe.
The first three tapas served were patatas bravas (seasoned potatoes) with guacamole dip, followed by toasted butternut with honey, thyme and lemon coriander in marinated avo and miso aubergine (fried misoyaki aubergines). The guacamole dips were fresh and the miso eggplant and patatas were delicious and very tasty.
The tuna ceviche was unfortunately not well balanced. It needed more acidity and flavors to balance out the fishy tuna flavour, and the grilled calamari was overcooked.
Some other dishes on the menu were Wagyu beef pot stickers, which were a crowd favorite, as well as the ham croquettes.
One could easily enjoy different portions as they were so good.
The croquettes are filled with ground ham and deep fried with panko crust. There was an avocado version, fried, which will also divide public opinion, because it is not for everyone.
The menu was finished with churros with a dark chocolate avo dipping sauce.
As the avocados were the star of the show, complementing every dish they did, the dips brought the tapas together and even for skeptics, the sweet and savory dipping sauce was a hit.
So what’s next for the avo season?
Well, avo lovers can now enjoy this fruit easily and accessible all year round.