Ultimate Guide on Alligator Pears

You may be surprised to know that you (most likely) love alligator pears. You spread alligator pear on your toast, top with tomato and a pinch of salt. You enjoy them with corn chips and at dinner time you toss slices through your salad. Alligator pears, more commonly known as avocados, are back in season and we are so excited! They’ve been a favourite for millions of years and not just by humans...

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A short(ish) history

The avocado hit is evolutionary prime in South America during the beginning of the Cenozoic era; also known as the ‘Age of Mammals’. This time period spans back to around 65 million years ago! Megafauna (giant animals) such as mammoths, giant horses and giant ground sloths dominated the earth during this era.

What does this have to do with Avocados…?

These giant mammals found avocados to be very tasty! They would eat them whole, travel far distances and disperse them, leaving the seed to grow in a new place. When these land giants became extinct this dispersal method became extinct too. Luckily for us, the humans around at that time cracked on to their deliciousness and started to cultivate them, we owe our thanks to these thoughtful homosapiens.

More than delicious

We now know that avocados are so much more than just a delicious fruit. They are nutrient dense and energy packed gems, something our fellow Cenozoic era homosapiens may not have been aware of. They contain good fats which are a major source of energy and help your body absorb nutrients from other foods.

Finding the perfect avo

There is lots of guesswork in picking the perfect avo. Base your selection on colour, squeezing causes bruising! Avoid those that are super soft and have dark skin. You’ll also want to veer from dented or flattened avos as this indicates old age or damage.

At My Food Bag, our avocados are pre-ripened to try and get them as close to perfection as possible. This process uses etheyne gas, a natural product secreted by bananas and apples. As you may know, getting your avo to the stage of perfection can be quite difficult. Because the fruit on the tree varies in age, results can be a bit of a mix. Due to this, you’ll need to make a call on storage. Fear not, we’ve got all the tricks!

To refrigerate or not to refrigerate?

  • Soft - Pop it in the fridge! The cool temperature will slow down the ripening process.
  • Hard - Place it in a fruit bowl to help finish of the ripening process.
  • Super hard - Place the avocado in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana on a window sill. The warm humid environment speeds up the ripening process (where an avocado plant thrives best!). Bananas and Apples naturally give off etheyne gas - the ripening agent!

How do I store half an avo?

Cut avocado should be sprinkled with lemon juice, lime juice or white vinegar and placed in an air-tight container in your fridge. They should be eaten within a day or two.

If the top layer goes brown, simply scrape this off and you'll find the flesh underneath is perfectly fine. Contact with the oxygen in the air has just caused a little bit of oxidation, totally harmless but not very pretty.

You’ve got a lot to think about next time you're making guacamole…

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