In Latin America, avocados have always been well regarded. This subtropical fruit has been cultivated for thousands of years in Mexico and Central America. Mexicans, who seldom eat a meal without them, are the main consumers of avocados worldwide, eating an average of 20 pounds per person per year.
Growing up in Panama, Central America, I remember the avocado tree in the back of our house, which produced huge avocados, at least three or four times the size of the ones found in supermarkets in the U.S. At home we enjoyed our avocados raw, with a pinch of salt and squirt of lime, or with a spoonful of sugar on top.
The United States is the second largest consumer of avocados in the world, due in part to the growth of the Latino population. In kitchens across the U.S., you will find avocados used in every imaginable way: in smoothies and shakes, diced on top of salads, in soups, inside sandwiches and burgers, next to seafood, in ice cream, in sushi rolls and dips. Of course they are the primary ingredient in guacamole.
Since I have always admired the qualities of the avocado, I am glad to see chefs featured in Neighborhood Kitchens working the fruit into their own delicious recipes. Try some of these at home:
Have you ever heard of avocado fries? Bristol Lounge’s chef José Gamez shares his popular recipe.
Chef Leo Romero, owner of Mexican restaurant Casa Romero, prepares a simple ceviche with slices of avocado.
Scampo head chef, Simon Restrepo, creates a king crab mozzarella salad ... with avocado. It's out of this world.
Cafe Azteca’s Antonio Guerrero prepares sopes, a tasty street snack, with pork, refried beans, sour cream and guacamole.
Taranta’s chef José Duarte prepares a Maine lobster causa with Peruvian potatoes, aji amarillo, botija olives, tomatoes and avocado.
*****-- Patricia Alvarado Núñez is the Series Producer of Neighborhood Kitchens.
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