Do You Love Guacamole? Here are a Few Facts You Need to Know


Fresh guacamole dips

Consumption of avocados is increasing with all the major holidays, including St. Patrick’s Day. Avocados are green, after all. Though there is some debate about guacamole calories since avocados are so high in fat, doctors will tell you that guacamole calories are the healthy kind.

The best way to thaw guacamole to use in classic guacamole recipes once it is frozen is to move it from your freezer to your refrigerator 24 hours before you need it. If you don’t have the time to wait 24 hours to use it in your spicy guacamole dip, you can put the unopened package in a bowl of cold water until it softens up.

For 10 to 15 years the Super Bowl and Cinco de Mayo played tag with each other in the statistics department for top consumption of avocados, but in 2012 the Fourth of July beat them both! Who knew guacamole was so popular on Independence Day? It’s yet another example of the transformation of an ethnic ingredient into a mainstream one for all Americans. And avocados aren’t just eaten as guacamole!

Did you know that avocados mature on the tree, but they only ripen once they are off the tree? Even more amazing is the fact that avocados can stay on a tree for as long as 18 months. It’s as if the tree preserves them until you’re ready to use them.

The coastal regions of central and southern California, from around San Luis Obispo down to San Diego, are where 90 percent of the commercial domestic crop in the United States comes from. There’s a small crop in Hawaii but the avocados never leave the islands; the avocados are consumed there. Florida grows avocados to use in recipes using guacamole, too, but their crop is much smaller and includes the big green Caribbean-style ones in which the flesh is less dense and rich meaning that they have less guacamole calories.

All avocados are picked by hand. Labor and water are the major cost factors for avocado growers. And according to DeLyser, it takes a special individual to harvest them. Avocado trees are high, so a 16-foot pole with a pouch and clipper at one end is used to pick the out-of-reach fruit. Holding the pole, you cradle the avocado in the pouch, then pull a string on the pole to clip off the stem near the top of the fruit. Once you have them, you can start making lots of recipes with guacamole.

There is basically one season for avocados in California. The season stretches from around April through September. The trees usually bloom once a year, around February. Sometimes growers get another bloom in late fall, but that doesn’t happen often. Meanwhile, in Mexico, there are five different regions that grow avocados with five different climates and five different times for blooms.

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