An avocado is a wonderful ingredient. What do they taste like? They are rich with a creamy texture, buttery and work well in a number of dishes. If you are curious about this fruit, continue reading. We are going to talk about everything you need to know about avocados, from what they taste like to how you can use them in your kitchen.
While many people consider an avocado to be a vegetable, they are actually nutrient dense fruits that grow on trees. The fruit is roughly the size of a pear and maybe even a little fatter. The outer skin of an avocado is thick and almost leathery. Because of these characteristics, sometimes people refer to avocados as alligator pears.
It is green when the fruit is unripe and becomes darker during the ripening process until it is essentially black when the fruit is ripe. While the skin of the avocado won't hurt you, it is not edible to eat.
The inner flesh is a light green color and has an extremely smooth texture with a buttery taste. The fruit is peeled and pitted, leaving you with the flesh, the only edible part of the fruit.
Taste of an Avocado
The taste of avocado is quite buttery with a nutty flavor, leaving a creamy note on the tongue. Avocados have a mild flavor and are wonderful at absorbing the flavors of other things that are around them without being overwhelmed. This is why avocados are often served with dressings in a salad, as that will lead to a complementary flavor pairing. They go really well with ingredients like olive oil, lime or lemon juice, bacon and Mexican spices.
I distinctly remember the first time I ate an avocado. In college, I worked in a Mexican restaurant and they had a chicken avocado salad on the menu. It was very popular so one day I ordered it for myself. The taste of the creamy avocado was a delicious contrast to the spicy Mexican flavored chicken. Ever since that day I love pairing avocados with spicy foods like in this Poblano stuffed pepper recipe.
Avocados are often used to make guacamole which is a dip seasoned with lime juice, garlic and onions. It is my favorite thing to scoop up with tortilla chips.
Are avocados healthy?
Now that you know what avocado tastes like, you should also know they are are considered to be very healthy. They are a great way to get wonderful nutrients at an unusual level of density. Simply put, the avocado fruit is a super food!
Avocados contain lots of fiber, a small amount of protein and vitamin K, C, E, B2, B3, B5, B6 as well as folate, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese. In other words they are filled with nutrients and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals so there are many health benefits of avocados.
Avocados are also unusually rich in fiber, which is essential for a really healthy digestive system. They also provide healthy fats and have been shown to have a positive effect on your cholesterol levels and heart health. There are two types of cholesterol - HDL (which protects the heart) and LDL (which is associated with plaque buildup on artery walls. Avocados have been shown to increase levels of HDL in the bloodstream, as well as reduce levels of LDL.
Believe it or not, there are over 500 different types of avocados so we cannot go through them all. Hass avocados and Florida avocados are the two varieties of avocado which are most commonly purchased in US grocery stores. The Hass avocado originally was first grown in southern California but now is also grown in Mexico and other places. It is a smaller and darker colored fruit then the Florida avocado which is much larger with smoother skin and a bright green color. The Hass variety contains more fat, so it's creamier for guacamole and dips but the Florida variety is firmer making this type of avaocado ideal to cut into slices and cubes. Different people prefer different types and it all comes down to personal preference.
How to Store Avocados
Storing avocados can be be a bit complex. When you buy them from the store, they will usually be unripe, as they’re picked early to allow for them to ripen in the home. When unripe, I suggest that the best way of storing them is on your kitchen counter near a window or in direct sunlight. Being at room temperature and around free-flowing air will allow them to ripen more rapidly.
Once they are ripe, you’ll be best served by storing them in an airtight container in the fridge. That will prolong their ripeness by a few days, allowing you to end up with fresh avocado whenever you might want it.
There is an odd way to store avocado once you’ve already sliced the fruit and opened the inside to the elements. Using a shallow Tupperware container, you can store the fruit with the cut side facing down. Add water to the container so that no air youches the flesh of the fruit. This prevents oxidation, and can prolong the ripeness of the fruit by around three days!
How to tell when an avocado is ripe
Telling when an avocado is ripe is a tricky thing. The problem is that as soon as you open an avocado to get at the inside, you can’t stick it back together again. You have to commit to eating it from the second you sliced into it so it really is good to know when the flesh of the avocado is ripe enough to eat.
An unripe avocado will be very firm, to the point where you might have trouble squeezing it. We would suggest leaving that avocado for another day if you find one that’s as firm as that. Storing an avocado in a brown paper bag can speed up teh ripening process.
A perfectly ripe avocado will have a little give to it, while still being firm at the center. We would suggest squeezing an avocado a little and trying to see if you can tell where in the fruit is soft, and whether the center is still quite firm. In so doing, you’ll be able to determine the ripeness of the fruit.
Telling when an avocado is spoiled is quite easy. Overripe avocados will be quite soft to the point of being a little mushy. Furthermore, the flesh will likely tear quite easily, rather than being firm and tough to cut through. When you cut it open and it is brown, this means the avocado has started to spoil.
Ways to use avocado
I love to use avocados in my recipes, and now let me give you some examples of how to enjoy avocados.
I adore them in salads especially with another fruit component. This Strawberry Avocado Salad with Fresh Mozzarella and Walnuts has the perfect amount of creaminess and crunch.
Avocados also pair well with tomatoes and bacon so I put them all together on this crostini recipe. The creamy flavor and the saltiness of the bacon along with the delicious addition of ripe tomatoes are a great combination.
I hope that we’ve been able to help you out a little with a few interesting things about the avocado. Now you have an idea of what an avocado tastes like. So the next time you see the shiny green fruit in the grocery store, buy a few and try one of the recipes below.
Fresh Avocado Recipes
- Avocado, Tomato, and Arugula Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
- Baha Fish Taco Bowls
- The Best Brunch Burger Recipe
- Super Easy Mexican Guacamole
- Avocado Toast with Smoked Salmon via Grumpy's Honeybunch
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