In this week’s I-ATE Food Term of the Week we are showing how the avocado, a fruit originally from South Central Mexico, is consumed differently across the world. Be it with chili, as a sweet dessert or as the main component of a light salad, the avocado was brought to the spotlight by its numeral health benefits, seeing its consumption soar over the past ten years and reaching record highs.
The name of the fruit entered the English language from the Spanish aguacate, derived from the Nahuatl word ahuacatl. The word was also used to mean “testicle”, given the likeness between the fruit and, well, the body part.
Avocado was first registered in English as avogato, and since the pronunciation was close to “advocate”, many languages used words with similar meanings: French uses avocat, also used for lawyer, and old German Advogato-Birne, old Dutch advocaatpeer and old Danish advokat-pœre.
While in Mexico the avocado is an essential ingredient of the spicy guacamole, in Brazil it is often consumed as part of a dessert or a sweet avocado cream and it has even introduced itself into the traditional Greek Caesar salad or the Japanese sushi.
Check out some recipes you can prepare with an avocado:
Brazilian avocado cream
Purée avocado flesh with lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl and add sugar and cinnamon. You may add whipping cream and blend it with an electric mixer until it achieves a creamy consistency.
Mexican original guacamole
- 4 mild chillies, finely chopped
- bunch coriander, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
- salt, to taste
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- ½ lime, juice only
- 3 ripe avocados
- In a pestle and mortar, pound the chillies, coriander, tomatoes, salt and onion to a fine paste.
- Add a little water and lime juice to make a looser mixture. Mash in the avocados. Serve.
Spanish shrimp and avocado salad
Ingredients for 2 servings:
- 1 lb (455 g) jumbo shrimp
- 3 limes
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
- ½ cup (100 g) cherry tomato, or grape tomato, halved
- ⅓ cup (15 g) fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 avocados, chopped
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- blue corn tortilla chips
- In a medium bowl, toss shrimp with salt, pepper, and juice from one lime.
- Sauté shrimp around 1-2 minutes each side, until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Avoid overcrowding the pan, so you may need to sauté the shrimp in batches. Set aside.
- Place chopped lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, and avocados, in a large salad bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix olive oil, juice from 2 limes, honey, chili powder, salt and pepper to form the dressing.
- Toss salad with dressing. Add Shrimp and toss.
- Add tortilla chips to the sides of the bowls.
- BBC Food. (2018). Real guacamole. [online] Available here. [Accessed 21 Apr. 2018].
- Nutrition, A. and Nutrition, A. (2018). Avocado Recipes from Around the World – Avocados From Mexico. [online] Available here. [Accessed 21 Apr. 2018].
- co. (2018). Shrimp and Avocado Salad Recipe by Tasty. [online] Available here. [Accessed 21 Apr. 2018].
- Perez, M. and Durisin, M. (2018). Avocado Prices Are Skyrocketing. [online] Available here. [Accessed 21 Apr. 2018].
- Wikipedia. (2018). Avocado. [online] Available here. [Accessed 21 Apr. 2018].
Written by Ilie Arnoud da Silva – Study visitor at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament and student of the Master programme in Learning and Communication in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts at the University of Luxembourg.