Science of plants at the dinner table: avocado

Avocado is a berry and a major ingredient in guacamole.

Avocados are fruits (yes, fruits!) Of the Lauraceae family (laurel) and are sometimes called alligator pears. Some of the other members of the bay leaf family include bay leaves, cinnamon, camphor and sassafras. The botanical name of the avocado is Perseus American. The genus Perseus consists or evergreen trees that produce fruit.

Many people think that the avocado is a stone, like cherries, peaches and olives. Fruits classified as stones have very hard, stony coatings around their seeds. This hard coating is called the endocarp, often called the fossa. Conversely, avocados are berries because their endocarp is soft and has a smooth texture.

Homeland avocados are Latin America and the Caribbean. Mexico is the largest producer of avocados in the world. In the United States, California is the largest producer of California avocados from spring to fall.

Here are some fun facts from Michigan State University’s avocado expansion:

  • Avocados are rich in nutrients.
  • Avocado is practically the only fruit that contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats – good fats.
  • Avocados act as a food booster, helping you absorb fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, K and E.
  • Avocados have been grown for thousands of years, dating back to 500 BC
  • There are over 400 varieties of avocados grown in the world, but hass, grown in Mexico and California, are the most popular.
  • According to the University of California, Avocado Haas got its name from postal worker Rudolf Haas, who bought seedlings from a farmer in 1926 and filed a patent for the variety in 1935.
  • The Hawk avocado does not begin to ripen until it is picked.
  • California grows 90% of the avocados grown in the United States
  • Polyphenol oxidase in avocado cells causes an enzymatic reaction that turns the fruit brown after slicing. When the fruit is oxidized, it does not look good, but it is still safe to eat. To protect the avocado from “browning”, you can squeeze a little lemon juice on the fleshy part of the fruit.

Avocado is the main ingredient in guacamole. Guacamole has become so popular in the United States that it is estimated that the United States consumed 105 million pounds of guacamole on Sunday at the 2022 Super Bowl. .

Here are some facts about guacamole:

  • Guacamole is a Mexican dish; The name comes from the classic nahuatl āhuacamōlli, which literally means “avocado sauce”.
  • The ancient Aztecs invented guacamole, calling it auaka-moli.
  • Molli was Nahautl’s word for “something puree”, while ahuactl refers to the testicles, or the seed of the fruit reminded them of the testicles.
  • The largest portion of guacamole was created on April 6, 2018, weighing 8351 pounds and took over 350 people to prepare it.

Are you ready to try your own delicious guacamole treat? Try this recipe from


From start to finish: 20 minutes

servings: 6


3 avocados, (large, ripe)

1 tomato (medium), cut and diced

1/2 diced garlic

1/2 cup coriander, (1/3 bunch) finely chopped

3 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Cut three avocados in half lengthwise; remove the stones and grate the flesh of the avocado with a spoon. Place in a medium bowl with a flat bottom and mash the avocado with a mashed potato masher until thick.
  2. Squeeze the lime juice directly on the avocado while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, onions and chopped coriander. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  4. Stir only until combined and serve.

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