Sydney Baker ‘s Simple Braised Greens

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braised greens

As I type this, my yard is overflowing with dark green leafy vegetables; they are literally taking over our tiny property.  So what’s a girl with a garden to do?  Every morning I go outside, bowl and scissors in hand, and harvest greens.

I braise the greens with a bit of garlic and red pepper and eat them with a side of scrambled eggs, starting my day with a glorious Paleo breakfast.  If I’m really hungry, I’ll add a side of gluten free bread to this breakfast. Of course we have braised greens for dinner just about every night during this time of year as well.  We have to keep up with the garden!

Generally, I harvest 3-4 ounces of greens per person, so in our house, this would be a recipe for one.

For those of you that want to know how many bunches this recipe calls for, I can’t help with that, as my garden does not grow in bunches –I harvest individual leaves directly to a bowl.  If you do figure how many bunches this recipe uses leave a comment and let us know.  In terms of converting ounces to cups, I’d say that 4 ounces of chopped greens equals about 3 or 4 cups well packed cups.

Cooking tips?  Here’s what Renee from the website Kitchen Table Scraps, has to say, “cooking green vegetables too long will turn their color dark and murky and their texture to mush.”  So all you gardener/chefs out there, be sure not to overcook your greens.

Simple Braised Greens

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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces mixed greens (kale, collard, mustard, or greens of your choice) about 3-4 cups chopped and well packed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ⅛ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
  2. Add greens stirring to coat with oil
  3. Stir until greens are barely wilted
  4. Add garlic, salt and pepper flakes
  5. Continue stirring until greens are tender
  6. Serve

Serves 1

This easy side dish is great with any meal; you can try experimenting and adjusting the flavors to come up with other yummy recipes for greens.  For basic instructions on how to prepare, wash and store you greens

Here are some other healthy cooked veggie recipes to help you manage your harvest:
Broccoli Rabe with Garlic
Garlic Ginger Bok Choy
Sautéed Kale

You might also enjoy:  

Butternut Squash Latkes
Carrot Scallion Latkes
Roasted Acorn Squash

 

Sarah Drus ‘s Kugel Yerushalmi – Jerusalem Kugel (Parve)

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Kugel Yerushalmi - Jerusalem KugelKugel Yerushalmi – Jerusalem Kugel

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 3/4 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 pound (400 grams) fine egg noodles
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs

Preparation:

1. Grease a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
3. In a pot, bring water, salt and pepper to a boil. Add noodles. Cover pot. Reduce flame to low. Cook until water is absorbed.
4. Your careful attention (be careful not to burn yourself) and patience (don’t leave this unattended) is needed to make the caramel. Place oil and sugar in a light-colored (so you can see the color of the melting sugar), heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. Slowly the sugar will start to turn yellowish-brown and combine with the oil. If the sugar turns dark brown too quickly, turn the heat down. Stir until a bubbly, liquid caramel has formed. Then immediately pour caramel over cooked noodles and continue stirring until thoroughly blended.
5. Let cool for a few minutes. Then add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
6. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) until nicely browned.
7. When done, remove immediately from pan.SERVING SUGGESTIONS: This kugel can be served hot, warm or cold.

NOTE: This recipe got a poor review because someone had trouble making the caramel. I rewrote the caramel instructions above and tested the recipe again. It worked beautifully for me, and my son is enjoying a piece of the kugel right now. According to Bon Appétit Magazine, caramelizing sugar is “one of the trickiest techniques to master.” It may take some practice to get the caramel to the right color (undercooked caramel has a weak flavor and overcooked caramel has a burnt flavor). But once you get the hang of it, making this kugel will be easy for you.

Fay Drus’s Tzimmes

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paleo tzimmes recipe 

Paleo tzimmes –traditional Jewish fare that tastes great and is healthy to boot.

A while back my mother-in-law asked me to create a tzimmes dish for the Jewish holidays; it was acomment from Shari in NC that spurred me towards fulfilling that wonderful request.

I made tzimmes for our Rosh Hashanah dinner a few days ago and my family loved it so much that I’ll be making it again for Yom Kippur.

There are several ways to make tzimmes, though most often this dish uses carrots for the base, as carrots symbolize hope for prosperity in the coming year. Many people like to add other ingredients to their tzimmes such as sweet potatoes, raisins, and meat. I like my tzimmes with prunes, which is also considered traditional. What do you put in your tzimmes?

While preparing this post, there was much discussion surrounding the correct spelling of the word tzimmes. And sure enough, there are at least two accepted spellings — tzimmes and tsimmes. However you choose to spell it, I hope you enjoy the recipe.

Paleo Tzimmes
 

  • 2 pounds carrots, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ cup prunes, cut in half
  • ½ cup dried apricots, cut in half
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  1. Place carrots, prunes, apricots and orange juice in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish
  2. Sprinkle with cinnamon and salt
  3. Cover dish with tinfoil
  4. Bake at 350° for 60-80 minutes
  5. Serve

Serves 6-8

Sweet Potato

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Camote” redirects here. For the island group in the Philippines, see Camotes Islands.
Not to be confused with Yam (vegetable).
Sweet Potato
Sweet potato in flower in Hong Kong, China
Sweet potato roots
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Ipomoea
Species: I. batatas
Binomial name
Ipomoea batatas
(L.Lam.

The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are a root vegetable.[1][2] The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. Of the approximately 50 genera and more than 1,000 species of Convolvulaceae, I. batatasis the only crop plant of major importance—some others are used locally, but many are actually poisonous. The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato(Solanum tuberosum) and does not belong to the nightshade family.

The genus Ipomoea that contains the sweet potato also includes several garden flowers called morning glories, though that term is not usually extended to Ipomoea batatas. Some cultivars of Ipomoea batatas are grown as ornamental plants; the name “tuberous morning glory” may be used in a horticultural context.

The plant is a herbaceous perennial vine, bearing alternate heart-shaped or palmately lobed leaves and medium-sized sympetalous flowers. The edible tuberous root is long and tapered, with a smooth skin whose color ranges between yellow, orange, red, brown, purple, and beige. Its flesh ranges from beige through white, red, pink, violet, yellow, orange, and purple. Sweet potato varieties with white or pale yellow flesh are less sweet and moist than those with red, pink or orange flesh.[3]

In certain parts of the world, sweet potatoes are locally known by other names.[4] InNew Zealand English, the Māori term kūmara (also spelled kūmera) is commonly used. Although the soft, orange sweet potato is often called a “yam” in parts of North America, the sweet potato is botanically very distinct from a genuine yam(Dioscorea), which is native to Africa and Asia and belongs to the monocot familyDioscoreaceae. To add to the confusion, a different crop plant, the oca, Oxalis tuberosa (a species of woodbind), is called a “yam” in many parts of Polynesia, including New Zealand. To prevent confusion, the United States Department of Agriculture requires sweet potatoes labeled as “yams” to also be labeled as “sweet potatoes”.[5] The sweet potato is North Carolina’s state vegetable.[citation needed]

Raw Sweet Potato
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 359 kJ (86 kcal)
Carbohydrates 20.1 g
– Starch 12.7 g
– Sugars 4.2 g
– Dietary fibre 3 g
Fat 0.1 g
Protein 1.6 g
Vitamin A equiv. 709 μg (89%)
– beta-carotene 8509 μg (79%)
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.078 mg (7%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.061 mg (5%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 0.557 mg (4%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.8 mg (16%)
Vitamin B6 0.209 mg (16%)
Folate (vit. B9) 11 μg (3%)
Vitamin C 2.4 mg (3%)
Vitamin E 0.26 mg (2%)
Calcium 30 mg (3%)
Iron 0.61 mg (5%)
Magnesium 25 mg (7%)
Manganese 0.258 mg (12%)
Phosphorus 47 mg (7%)
Potassium 337 mg (7%)
Sodium 55 mg (4%)
Zinc 0.3 mg (3%)
Link to USDA Database entry
Percentages are roughly approximated
using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Origin, distribution and diversity[edit]

Sweet potatoes in the field

Sweet potato tubers with different skin colors, on sale in Indonesia. Locally these are known as ubi jalar (creeping yam).

The center of origin and domestication of sweet potato is thought to be either in Central America or South America.[6] InCentral America, sweet potatoes were domesticated at least 5,000 years ago.[7]

In South America, Peruvian sweet potato remnants dating as far back as 8000 BC have been found.[8]

Austin (1988) postulated that the center of origin of I. batatas was between theYucatán Peninsula of Mexico and the mouth of the Orinoco River in Venezuela. The ‘cultigen‘ had most likely been spread by local people to the Caribbean and South America by 2500 BC. Zhang et al.(1998) provided strong supporting evidence that the geographical zone postulated by Austin is the primary center of diversity. The much lower molecular diversity found in PeruEcuador suggests this region should be considered as secondary center of sweet potato diversity.

The sweet potato was also grown before western exploration in Polynesia. Sweet potato has been radiocarbon-dated in the Cook Islands to 1000 AD, and current thinking is that it was brought to central Polynesia around 700 AD, possibly by Polynesians who had traveled to South America and back, and spread across Polynesia to Hawaii and New Zealand from there.[9][10] It is possible, however, that South Americans brought it to the Pacific, although this is unlikely as it was the Polynesians who had a strongmaritime tradition and not the native South Americans. The theory that the plant could spread by floating seeds across the ocean is not supported by evidence. Another point is that the sweet potato in Polynesia is the cultivated Ipomoea batatas, which is generally spread by vine cuttings and not by seeds.[11]

Sweet potatoes are now cultivated throughout tropical and warm temperate regions wherever there is sufficient water to support their growth. For example, sweet potatoes were introduced as a food crop in Japan, and by 1735 was planted in Shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune‘s private garden. [12] It was also introduced to Korea in 1764.[13]

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) statistics, world production in 2004 was 127 million tonnes.[14] The majority comes from China, with a production of 105 million tonnes from 49,000 km2. About half of the Chinese crop is used for livestock feed.[7]

Per capita production is greatest in countries where sweet potatoes are a staple of human consumption, led by Papua New Guinea at about 500 kg[15] per person per year, the Solomon Islands at 160 kg, Burundi and Rwanda[16] at 130 kg and Uganda at 100 kg.

About 20,000 tonnes of sweet potatoes are produced annually in New Zealand, where sweet potato is known by its Māori name,kūmara. It was a staple food for Māori before European contact.[17]

In the U.S., North Carolina, the leading state in sweet potato production, provided 38.5% of the 2007 U.S. production of sweet potatoes. In 2007, California produced 23%, Louisiana 15.9%, and Mississippi 19% of the U.S. total.[18][19]

The town of Opelousas, Louisiana‘s “Yambilee” has been celebrated every October since 1946. The Frenchmen who established the first settlement at Opelousas in 1760 discovered the native AtakapaAlabamaChoctaw, and Appalousa tribes eating sweet potatoes. The sweet potato became a favorite food item of the French and Spanish settlers and thus continued a long history of cultivation in Louisiana.[20]

Mississippi has about 150 farmers growing sweet potatoes on about 8,200 acres (30 km2), contributing $19 million to the state’s economy. Mississippi’s top five sweet potato producing counties are CalhounChickasawPontotocYalobusha, and Panola. The National Sweet Potato Festival is held annually the entire first week in November in Vardaman (Calhoun County), which proclaims itself as “The Sweet Potato Capital”.

The town of Benton, Kentucky, celebrates the sweet potato annually with its Tater Day Festival on the first Monday of April. The town of Gleason, Tennessee, celebrates the sweet potato on Labor Day weekend with its Tater Town Special.

Sweet potatoes became popular very early in the islands of the Pacific Ocean, spreading from Polynesia to Japan and the Philippines. One reason[original research?] is that they were a reliable crop in cases of crop failure of other staple foods because oftyphoon flooding. They are featured in many favorite dishes in Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and other island nations. Indonesia, Vietnam, India, and some other Asian countries are also large sweet potato growers. Sweet potato, also known as kelang in Tuluis part of Udupi cusineUganda (the second largest grower after China), Rwanda, and some other African countries also grow a large crop which is an important part of their peoples’ diets. The New World, the original home of the sweet potato, grows less than three percent (3%) of the world’s supply. Europe has only a very small sweet potato production, mainly in Portugal. In the Caribbean, a variety of the sweet potato called the boniato is popular. The flesh of the boniato is cream-colored, unlike the more popular orange hue seen in other varieties. Boniatos are not as sweet and moist as other sweet potatoes, but many people prefer their fluffier consistency and more delicate flavor.

Sweet Potato Harvest.

Sweet potatoes have been an important part of the diet in the United States for most of its history, especially in the Southeast. From the middle of the 20th century, however, they have become less popular. The average per capita consumption of sweet potatoes in the United States is only about 1.5–2 kg (3.3–4.4 lb) per year, down from 13 kg (29 lb) in 1920. Southerner Kent Wrench writes: “The Sweet Potato became associated with hard times in the minds of our ancestors and when they became affluent enough to change their menu, the potato was served less often.”[21]

Cultivation[edit]

Producers (in million tonnes)[22]
Data for year 2011
China 81.7
Uganda 2.8
Nigeria 2.8
Indonesia 2.0
Tanzania 1.4
Vietnam 1.3
India 1.1
United States 1.0
World 106.5

The plant does not tolerate frost. It grows best at an average temperature of 24 °C (75 °F), abundant sunshine and warm nights. Annual rainfalls of 750–1,000 mm (30–39 in) are considered most suitable, with a minimum of 500 mm (20 in) in the growing season. The crop is sensitive to drought at the tuber initiation stage 50–60 days after planting, and it is not tolerant to water-logging, as it may cause tuber rots and reduce growth of storage roots if aeration is poor.[23]

Depending on the cultivar and conditions, tuberous roots mature in two to nine months. With care, early-maturing cultivars can be grown as an annual summer crop in temperate areas, such as the northern United States. Sweet potatoes rarely flower when the daylight is longer than 11 hours, as is normal outside of the tropics. They are mostly propagated by stem or root cuttings or by adventitious roots called “slips” that grow out from the tuberous roots during storage. True seeds are used for breeding only.

They grow well in many farming conditions and have few natural enemies; pesticides are rarely needed. Sweet potatoes are grown on a variety of soils, but well-drained, light- and medium-textured soils with a pH range of 4.5-7.0 are more favorable for the plant.[2] They can be grown in poor soils with little fertilizer. However, sweet potatoes are very sensitive to aluminum toxicity and will die about six weeks after planting if lime is not applied at planting in this type of soil.[2] Because they are sown by vine cuttings rather than seeds, sweet potatoes are relatively easy to plant. Because the rapidly growing vines shade out weeds, little weeding is needed. In the tropics, the crop can be maintained in the ground and harvested as needed for market or home consumption. In temperate regions, sweet potatoes are most often grown on larger farms and are harvested before first frosts.

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet potato

Naturalized sweet potato in thePhilippines (locally known as camote)

In the Southeastern United States, sweet potatoes are traditionally cured to improvestorage, flavor, and nutrition, and to allow wounds on the periderm of the harvested root to heal.[21] Proper curing requires drying the freshly dug roots on the ground for two to three hours, then storage at 85–90 °F (29–32 °C) with 90 to 95% relative humidity from five to fourteen days. Cured sweet potatoes can keep for thirteen months when stored at 55–59 °F (13–15 °C) with >90% relative humidity. Colder temperatures injure the roots.[24][25]

Main article: Sweet potato storage

Yields of sweet potato crop[edit]

In 2010, the world average annual yield for sweet potato crop was 13.2 tonnes per hectare. The most productive farms of sweet potato breeds were in Senegal, where the nationwide average annual yield was 33.3 tonnes per hectare.[26] Yields as high as 80 metric tonnes per hectare have been reported from farms of Israel.[27]

Diseases[edit]

Nutrient content[edit]

Tubers of a sweet potato plant, partially exposed during harvesting

Besides simple starches, sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydratesdietary fiberbeta-carotene (a provitamin A carotenoid), vitamin C,[dubious – discuss] vitamin B6,manganese and potassium.[28] Pink, yellow and green varieties are also high in beta-carotene.[citation needed]

In 1992, the Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other vegetables. Considering fiber content, complex carbohydrates,proteinvitamins A and C, iron, and calcium, the sweet potato ranked highest in nutritional value. According to these criteria, sweet potatoes earned 184 points, 100 points over the next on the list, the common potato.

Sweet potato varieties with dark orange flesh have more beta carotene than those with light-colored flesh, and their increased cultivation is being encouraged in Africa, where vitamin A deficiency is a serious health problem. A 2012 study of 10,000 households in Uganda found that 50% of children who ate normal sweet potatoes suffered from vitamin A deficiency compared with only 10% of those on the high beta carotene variety.[29]

Comparison of sweet potato to other food staples[edit]

The table below presents the relative performance of sweet potato to other food staples. While sweet potato provides less edible energy and protein per unit weight than cereals, it is a higher nutrient density source of certain vitamins and minerals than cereals.[4]

Nutrient content of major staple foods[30]
STAPLE: Maize / Corn[A] Rice[B] Wheat[C] Potato[D] Cassava[E] Soybean(Green)[F] Sweet potato[G] Sorghum[H] Yam[Y] Plantain[Z]
Component (per 100g portion) Amount Amount Amount Amount Amount Amount Amount Amount Amount Amount
Water (g) 10 12 13 79 60 68 77 9 70 65
Energy (kJ) 1528 1528 1369 322 670 615 360 1419 494 511
Protein (g) 9.4 7.1 12.6 2.0 1.4 13.0 1.6 11.3 1.5 1.3
Fat (g) 4.74 0.66 1.54 0.09 0.28 6.8 0.05 3.3 0.17 0.37
Carbohydrates (g) 74 80 71 17 38 11 20 75 28 32
Fiber (g) 7.3 1.3 12.2 2.2 1.8 4.2 3 6.3 4.1 2.3
Sugar (g) 0.64 0.12 0.41 0.78 1.7 0 4.18 0 0.5 15
Calcium (mg) 7 28 29 12 16 197 30 28 17 3
Iron (mg) 2.71 0.8 3.19 0.78 0.27 3.55 0.61 4.4 0.54 0.6
Magnesium (mg) 127 25 126 23 21 65 25 0 21 37
Phosphorus (mg) 210 115 288 57 27 194 47 287 55 34
Potassium (mg) 287 115 363 421 271 620 337 350 816 499
Sodium (mg) 35 5 2 6 14 15 55 6 9 4
Zinc (mg) 2.21 1.09 2.65 0.29 0.34 0.99 0.3 0 0.24 0.14
Copper (mg) 0.314 0.22 0.434 0.11 0.10 0.13 0.15 0.18 0.08
Manganese (mg) 0.485 1.09 3.985 0.15 0.38 0.55 0.26 0.40
Selenium (μg) 15.5 15.1 70.7 0.3 0.7 1.5 0.6 0 0.7 1.5
Vitamin C (mg) 0 0 0 19.7 20.6 29 2.4 0 17.1 18.4
Thiamin (mg) 0.385 0.58 0.383 0.08 0.09 0.44 0.08 0.24 0.11 0.05
Riboflavin (mg) 0.201 0.05 0.115 0.03 0.05 0.18 0.06 0.14 0.03 0.05
Niacin (mg) 3.627 4.19 5.464 1.05 0.85 1.65 0.56 2.93 0.55 0.69
Pantothenic acid(mg) 0.424 1.01 0.954 0.30 0.11 0.15 0.80 0.31 0.26
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.622 0.16 0.3 0.30 0.09 0.07 0.21 0.29 0.30
Folate Total (μg) 19 231 38 16 27 165 11 0 23 22
Vitamin A (IU) 214 0 9 2 13 180 14187 0 138 1127
Vitamin E, alpha-tocopherol (mg) 0.49 0.11 1.01 0.01 0.19 0 0.26 0 0.39 0.14
Vitamin K (μg) 0.3 0.1 1.9 1.9 1.9 0 1.8 0 2.6 0.7
Beta-carotene (μg) 97 0 5 1 8 0 8509 0 83 457
Lutein+zeaxanthin(μg) 1355 0 220 8 0 0 0 0 0 30
Saturated fatty acids (g) 0.667 0.18 0.269 0.03 0.07 0.79 0.02 0.46 0.04 0.14
Monounsaturated fatty acids (g) 1.251 0.21 0.2 0.00 0.08 1.28 0.00 0.99 0.01 0.03
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (g) 2.163 0.18 0.627 0.04 0.05 3.20 0.01 1.37 0.08 0.07
A corn, yellow B rice, white, long-grain, regular, raw
C wheat, hard red winter D potato, flesh and skin, raw
E cassava, raw F soybeans, green, raw
G sweet potato, raw, unprepared H sorghum, raw
Y yam, raw Z plantains, raw
Sweet potato leaves, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 175 kJ (42 kcal)
Carbohydrates 8.82 g
– Dietary fiber 5.3 g
Fat 0.51 g
Protein 2.49 g
Vitamin A equiv. 189 μg (24%)
– beta-carotene 2217 μg (21%)
– lutein and zeaxanthin 14720 μg
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.156 mg (14%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.345 mg (29%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 1.13 mg (8%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.225 mg (5%)
Vitamin B6 0.19 mg (15%)
Vitamin C 11 mg (13%)
Vitamin K 302.2 μg (288%)
Calcium 78 mg (8%)
Iron 0.97 mg (7%)
Magnesium 70 mg (20%)
Phosphorus 81 mg (12%)
Potassium 508 mg (11%)
Direct link to database entry [4]
Percentages are roughly approximated
using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Culinary uses[edit]

Japanese pastry

Although the leaves and shoots are also edible, thestarchy tuberous roots are by far the most important product. In some tropical areas, they are a staple food crop.

Africa[edit]

Amukeke (sun-dried slices of root) and inginyo (sun-dried crushed root) are a staple food for people in northeastern Uganda.[31] Amukeke is mainly served for breakfast, eaten with peanut sauce. Inginyo is mixed with cassava flour and tamarind to make atapa. People eat atapa with smoked fish cooked in peanut sauce or with dried cowpea leaves cooked in peanut sauce.Emukaru (earth baked root) is eaten as a snack anytime and is mostly served with tea and/or with peanut sauce.

The young leaves and vine tips of sweet potato leaves are widely consumed as a vegetable in West African countries (Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, for example), as well as in northeastern Uganda, East Africa.[31] According to FAO leaflet No. 13 – 1990, sweet potato leaves and shoots are a good source of vitamins A, C, and B2(riboflavin), and according to research done by A. Khachatryan, are an excellent source of lutein.

In Egypt, sweet potato tubers are known as “batata” (بطاطا) are a common street food in winter, where street vendors with carts fitted with ovens sell them to people passing time by the Nile or the sea. The two varieties used are the orange fleshed one as well as the white/cream fleshed one. They are also baked at homes as a snack or dessert, drenched with honey.

Asia[edit]

The Purple Sweet Potato variety, commonly grown in Asia

Tong sui, a sweet potato-based soup popular in China during winter.

Bottle and two cartons of Japanese sweet potatoshōchū spirits.

In China, sweet potatoes, typically of the yellow variety, are baked in a large iron drum, and sold as street food during winter.[32]
In Korea, sweet potatoes are baked in foil or in open fire, typically during winter. In Korean, sweet potatoes are called “Goguma”. In Japan, this is called yaki-imo (roasted sweet potato), which typically uses either the yellow-fleshed Japanese sweet potato or the purple-fleshed (Okinawan) sweet potato.

Sweet potato soup, served during winter, consists of boiling sweet potato in water with rock sugar and ginger. Sweet potato greens are a common side dish in Taiwanese cuisine, often boiled or sautéed and served with a garlic and soy sauce mixture, or simply salted before serving. They, as well as dishes featuring the sweet potato root, are commonly found at bento (Pe̍h-ōe-jī: piān-tong) restaurants. In northeastern Chinese cuisine, sweet potatoes are often cut into chunks and fried, before being drenched into a pan of boiling syrup.[33]

In some regions of India, fasts of religious nature are an occasion for a change in normal diet, and a total absence from cooking or eating is held as elective while a normal diet for a fasting day is a light feast consisting of different foods from usual, amongst which sweet potato is one of the prime sources of sustenance[citation needed]. Sweet potato – shakarkand, शक्करकंद – is eaten otherwise, too, and a popular variety of preparation in most parts is roasted slow over kitchen coals at night and eaten with some dressing—primarily salt, possibly yogurt—while the easier way in the south is simply boiling or pressure cooking before peeling, cubing and seasoning for a vegetable dish as part of the meal. In Indian state of Tamil Nadu, it is known as ‘Sakkara valli Kilangu’. It is boiled and consumed as evening snack. In some parts of India, fresh sweet potato is chipped, dried and then ground into flour; this is then mixed with wheat flour and baked into chapattis (bread). Between 15 to 20 percent of sweet potato harvest is converted by some Indian communities into pickles and snack chips. A part of the tuber harvest is used in India as cattle fodder.[3]

The tubers of this plant, known as kattala in Dhivehi, have been used in the traditional diet of theMaldives. The leaves were finely chopped and used in dishes such as mas huni.[34]

In Japan, boiled sweet potato is the most common way to eat it at home. Steaming sweet potatoes is also a common cooking method in Japan. Also, the use in vegetable tempura is common.Daigaku-imo is a baked sweet potato dessert. Because it is sweet and starchy, it is used in imo-kinton and some other wagashi (Japanese sweets), such as ofukuimoShōchū, a Japanese spirit normally made from the fermentation of rice, can also be made from sweet potato, in which case it is called imo-jōchūImo-gohan, sweet potato cooked with rice, is popular in Guangdong, Taiwan and Japan. It is also served in nimono or nitsuke, boiled and typically flavored with soy saucemirinand dashi.

Imomeigetsu, also known as Tsukimi, is a Japanese festival honoring the beauty of autumn moon. Sake and sweet potatoes are offered to the moon, with prayers for an abundant harvest. Dishes made of sweet potato are ubiquitous. Shown here is Tsukimidango.

In Korean cuisine, sweet potato starch is used to produce dangmyeon (cellophane noodles). Sweet potatoes are also boiled, steamed, or roasted, and young stems are eaten as namul. Pizza restaurants such as Pizza Hut and Domino’s in Korea are using sweet potatoes as a popular topping. Sweet potatoes are also used in the distillation of a variety of Soju.

In Malaysia and Singapore, sweet potato is often cut into small cubes and cooked with yam and coconut milk (santan) to make a sweet dessert called bubur caca. A favorite way of cooking sweet potato is deep frying slices of sweet potato in batter, and served as a tea-time snack. In homes, sweet potatoes are usually boiled. The leaves of sweet potatoes are usually stir-fried with only garlic or with sambal belacan and dried shrimp by Malaysians.

In the Philippines, sweet potatoes (locally known as camote or kamote) are an important food crop in rural areas. They are often a staple among impoverished families in provinces, as they are easier to cultivate and cost less than rice.[35] The tubers are boiled or baked in coals and may be dipped in sugar or syrup. Young leaves and shoots (locally known as talbos ng kamote or camote tops) are eaten fresh in salads with shrimp paste (bagoong alamang) or fish sauce. They can be cooked in vinegar and soy sauce and served with fried fish (a dish known as adobong talbos ng kamote), or with recipes such as sinigang.[35] The stew obtained from boiling camote tops is purple-colored, and is often mixed with lemon as juice. Sweet potatoes are also sold as street food in suburban and rural areas. Fried sweet potatoes coated with caramelized sugar and served in skewers (camote cue) are popular afternoon snacks.[36] Sweet potatoes are also used in a variant of halo-halo called ginatan, where they are cooked in coconut milk and sugar and mixed with a variety of rootcrops, sagojackfruit and bilu-bilo (glutinous rice balls).[37] Bread made from sweet potato flour is also gaining popularity. Sweet potato is relatively easy to propagate, and in rural areas that can be seen abundantly at canals and dikes. The uncultivated plant is usually fed to pigs.

In the mountainous regions of West Papua, sweet potatoes are the staple food among the natives there. Using the bakar batuway of cooking (free translation: burning rocks), rocks that have been burned in a nearby bonfire are thrown into a pit lined with leaves. Layers of sweet potatoes, an assortment of vegetables, and pork are piled on top of the rocks. The top of the pile then is insulated with more leaves, creating a pressure of heat and steam inside which cooks all food within the pile after several hours. In most parts of Indonesia, sweet potatoes are frequently fried with batter and served as snacks.

North America[edit]

Sweet potato fries with a veggie burger

Candied sweet potatoes are a side dish consisting mainly of sweet potatoes prepared with brown sugar, marshmallowsmaple syrupmolassesorange juicemarron glacé, or other sweet ingredients. It is often served in America on Thanksgiving. Sweet potato casserole is a side dish of mashed sweet potatoes in a casserole dish, topped with a brown sugar and pecan topping.[38]Sweet potato pie is also a traditional favorite dish in Southern U.S. cuisine. Sweet potato slices are fried in bacon drippings and eaten with the bacon on toast. Sweet potato fries or chips are another common preparation, and are made by julienning and deep frying sweet potatoes, in the fashion ofFrench fried potatoes. Sweet potato fries are used with a variety of condiments such as Blue Cheese. Baked sweet potatoes are sometimes offered in restaurants as an alternative to baked potatoes. They are often topped with brown sugar and butter. Sweet potato butter can be cooked into a gourmet spread. Sweet potato mash is served as a side dish, often at Thanksgiving dinner or with barbecue. There is even a spicy condiment – Cackalacky Classic Condiment – that is made with sweet potatoes.

John Buttencourt Avila is called the father of the sweet potato industry in North America.

New Zealand[edit]

Before European contact, the Māori used the small, yellow-skin, finger-sized kūmara known as taputini,[39] hutihuti andrekamaroa[40] they had brought with them from east Polynesia. Modern trials have shown that the taputini was capable of producing well,[41] but in the early 19th century, when American whalers, sealers and trading vessels introduced larger varieties, they quickly predominated.[42][43][44][45]

In New Zealand, Māori traditionally cooked the kūmara in a hāngi earth oven. This is still a common practice when there are large gatherings on marae. Now there are three main varieties (red, orange and gold) grown in the subtropical northern part of the North Island near Dargaville[46] and widely available throughout New Zealand year-round, where they are a popular alternative to potatoes.[47] The red variety has dull red skin and purple-streaked white flesh, and is the most popular. The orange variety is the same as the American “Beauregard” variety. The gold kumara has pale, yellowish skin and flesh. Trials in New Zealand by Foss Leach between 2000 and 2009 in the Cook Strait area show that the old Maori Taputini variety is capable of producing between 9.8 and 19.5 kg of kumara per 5 x 5m plot, depending on rainfall. No fertilizer was used in these trials.[citation needed]

Other[edit]

Dulce de batata is a traditional sweet potato-based dessert in South America. Some versions, like one shown, mix in some chocolate. For a balance of flavors, it is often eaten with cheese.

In the Solomon Islands, and neighboring Melanesian countries (as well as some parts of Polynesia[citation needed]), the sweet potato, along with the yam, also goes by the name common desert truffle.[48] In Honiara, the capital city of the Solomon Islands, sweet potato is commonly referred to as “potato”, whereas true potatoes are referred to as “English potato”. Among the Urapmin people of Papua New Guinea, taro (known inUrap as ima) and the sweet potato (Urap: wan) are the main sources of sustenance, and in fact the word for “food” in Urap is a compound of these two words.[49]

In Spain, sweet potato is called boniato. On the evening of All Souls’ Day, in Catalonia(northeastern Spain) it is traditional to serve roasted sweet potato and chestnuts,panellets and sweet wine. The occasion is called La Castanyada.[50] Sweet potato is also appreciated to make cakes or to eat roasted through the whole country.

In Peru, sweet potatoes are called ‘camote’ and are frequently served alongsideceviche. Sweet potato chips are also a commonly sold snack, be it on the street or in packaged foods.

Dulce de batata is a traditional ArgentineParaguayan and Uruguayan dessert, which is made of sweet potatoes. It is a sweetjelly, which resembles a marmalade because of its hard texture.

In the Veneto (northeast Italy), sweet potato is known as patata mericana in the Venetian language (patata americana in Italian, meaning “American potato”), and it is cultivated above all in the southern area of the region;[51] it is a traditional fall dish, boiled or roasted.

Young sweet potato leaves are also used as baby food particularly in Southeast Asia and East Asia.[52][53] Mashed sweet potato tubers are used similarly throughout the world.[54]

Nonculinary uses[edit]

Sweet potato, Moche culture, 300 AD, Larco Museum Collection

In South America, the juice of red sweet potatoes is combined with lime juice to make a dye forcloth. By varying the proportions of the juices, every shade from pink to black can be obtained.[55]

All parts of the plant are used for animal fodder.

Sweet potatoes or camotes are often found in Moche ceramics.[56]

Several selections are cultivated in gardens as ornamental plants for their attractive foliage, including the dark-leafed cultivars ‘Blackie’ and ‘Ace of Spades’ and the chartreuse-foliaged ‘Margarita’.

Cuttings of sweet potato vine, either edible or ornamental varieties, will rapidly form roots in water and will grow in it, indefinitely, in good lighting with a steady supply of nutrients. For this reason, sweet potato vine is ideal for use in home aquariums, trailing out of the water with its roots submerged, as its rapid growth is fueled by toxic ammonia and nitrates, a waste product of aquatic life, which it removes from the water. This improves the living conditions for fish, which also find refuge in the vast root systems.

Researchers at North Carolina State University are breeding sweet potato varieties that would be grown primarily for biofuelproduction.

Names[edit]

Although it is sometimes called a yam in North America, the sweet potato is not in the yam family, nor is it closely related to the common potato. The first Europeans to taste sweet potatoes were members of Columbus‘s expedition in 1492. Later explorers found many varieties under an assortment of local names, but the name which stayed was the indigenous Taino name of batata. This name was later transmuted to the similar name for a different vegetable, the ordinary potato, causing confusion from which it never recovered. The first record of the name “sweet potato” is found in the Oxford English Dictionary of 1775.

Kumara for sale, Thames, New Zealand.

The Portuguese took the Taino name batata directly, while the Spanish also combined it with the Quechua word for potato, papa, to create the word patata for the common potato. In Argentina, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic it is called batata. In MexicoChileCentral America, and the Philippines, the sweet potato is known as camote (alternatively spelled kamote in the Philippines), derived from the Nahuatl word camotli.[57] Boniato is another name widely used in mainland Spain and in Uruguay.

In Peru, the Quechua name for a type of sweet potato is kumar, strikingly similar to the Polynesian name kumara and its regional Oceanic cognates (kumala,umala ‘uala, etc.), which has led some scholars to suspect an instance of Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact.

In New Zealand, the most common variety is the Red (purple) cultivar, and is called kumara, though orange (Beauregard) and gold varieties are also available. Kumara is particularly popular as a roasted food or in contemporary cuisine, as kumara chips, often served with sour cream and sweet chili sauce. Occasionally shops in Australia will label the purple variety “purple sweet potato” to denote its difference to the other varieties. About 95% of Australia’s production is of the orange variety named “Beauregard”, originally from North America, known simply as “sweet potato”. A reddish-purple variety, Northern Star, is 4% of production and is sold as kumara.

In Papua New Guinea, sweet potatoes are known as kaukau in Tok Pisin.[58][59]

Notes[edit]

  1. Jump up^ Purseglove, 1991
  2. Jump up to:a b c Woolfe, 1992
  3. Jump up to:a b Gad Loebenstein, George Thottappilly (2009). The sweetpotato. pp. 391–425. ISBN 978-1-4020-9475-0.
  4. Jump up to:a b Scott, Best, Rosegrant, and Bokanga (2000). “Roots and tubers in the global food system: A vision statement to the year 2020”. International Potato Center, and others.ISBN 92-9060-203-1.
  5. Jump up^ “Sweet Potato OR Yam? Which is which?”. Foodreference.com. 20 March 2007. Retrieved 2010-09-12.
  6. Jump up^ Geneflow 2009 – Bioversity International – Google Books
  7. Jump up to:a b Sweet Potato, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
  8. Jump up^ Alison Clare Steingold (August/September 2008). “The Uber Tuber”Hana Hou!, Vol. 11, No. 4 (p. 2).
  9. Jump up^ VAN TILBURG, Jo Anne. 1994. Easter Island: Archaeology, Ecology and Culture. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press
  10. Jump up^ “Gardening at the Edge: Documenting the Limits of Tropical Polynesian Kumara Horticulture in Southern New Zealand”, University of Canterbury
  11. Jump up^ “Batatas, Not Potatoes”. Botgard.ucla.edu. Archived fromthe original on 19 May 2008. Retrieved 2010-09-12.
  12. Jump up^ Takekoshi, Yosaburō. (1930). Economic Aspects of the History of the Civilization of Japan, p. 352.
  13. Jump up^ Kim, Jinwung. (2012). A History of Korea: From ‘Land of the Morning Calm’ to States in Conflict, p. 255.
  14. Jump up^ FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS
  15. Jump up^ Bourke, R.M. and Vlassak, V.: Estimates of food crop production in Papua New Guinea, ANU Canberra, 2004
  16. Jump up^http://www.foodnet.cgiar.org/market/Rwanda/reports/swtpotreportATDT.pdf|International Institute of Tropical Agriculture: Sweetpotato sub-sector market survey Rwanda, 2002, PDF
  17. Jump up^ WARDLE, P. 1991. The Vegetation of New Zealand. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press
  18. Jump up^ U.S. Department of Agriculture
  19. Jump up^ Top 10 Sweetpotato Growing Counties in North Carolina, ncsweetpotatoes.com
  20. Jump up^ History of the Louisiana Yambilee, Yambilee.com
  21. Jump up to:a b North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission (NCSPC)
  22. Jump up^ FAO statistics (FAO)[1]
  23. Jump up^ Ahn, 1993.
  24. Jump up^ [2] (NCAT)
  25. Jump up^ [3] (US Davis)
  26. Jump up^ “Crop Production, Worldwide, 2010 data”. FAOSTAT, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2011.
  27. Jump up^ James Duke (1983). “Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.”. Purdue University.
  28. Jump up^ “Sweet potato, cooked, baked in skin, without salt”. Nutritiondata.com. 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  29. Jump up^ Coghlan, Andy (17 August 2012) Nutrient-boosted foods protect against blindness New Scientist, Health, Retrieved 20 August 2012
  30. Jump up^ “Nutrient data laboratory”. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved January 2012.
  31. Jump up to:a b Abidin, 2004
  32. Jump up^ “Culture: Chinese Sandwiches”. Waze.net. Retrieved 2010-09-12.
  33. Jump up^ Chinese
  34. Jump up^ Xavier Romero-FriasThe Maldive Islanders, A Study of the Popular Culture of an Ancient Ocean Kingdom. Barcelona 1999, ISBN 84-7254-801-5
  35. Jump up to:a b “Fusion kamote”Editorials. The Manila Times (The Sunday Times), http://www.manilatimes.net. 16 March 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  36. Jump up^ Nicole J. Managbanag (25 October 2010). “Elections and banana cue”. Sun Star, http://www.sunstar.com.ph/. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  37. Jump up^ Susan G. Daluz. “A recipe that supported a brood of 12”.Inquirer News Service. INQ7 Interactive, Inc. An INQUIRER and GMA Network Company, http://ruby.inquirer.net/. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  38. Jump up^ Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe
  39. Jump up^ “A Guide to Growing Pre-European Māori Kumara”, Burtenshaw, M. (2009), The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand
  40. Jump up^ “Original Kumera”, Enid Tapsell, TJPS
  41. Jump up^ Wilson, Dee (29 April 2009). “Heritage kumara shows its worth”The Marlborough Express. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  42. Jump up^ “Waitangi tribunal and the kumara claim”, Horticulture New Zealand
  43. Jump up^ Stokes, Jon (1 February 2007). “Kumara claim becomes hot potato”The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  44. Jump up^ “DNA analysis expected to solve kumara row”The New Zealand HeraldNZPA. 8 February 2007. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  45. Jump up^ “Kumara” entry, 1966, An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
  46. Jump up^ “Ohakune has its carrot … and Dargaville has its kumara”. The Northern Advocate. 18 March 2006. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  47. Jump up^ “How to cook with kumara”Taranaki Daily News. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  48. Jump up^ Tedder, M. M.: Yams, a description of their cultivation on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. (Noumea: South Pacific Commission, 1974) pp. xi
  49. Jump up^ Robbins, Joel (1995). “Dispossessing the Spirits: Christian Transformations of Desire and Ecology among the Urapmin of Papua New Guinea quick view”. Ethnology 34 (3): 212–213.
  50. Jump up^ “Magosto – Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre” (in(Spanish)). Es.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2010-09-12.
  51. Jump up^ Mondo agricolo veneto – la patata americana di Anguillara
  52. Jump up^ South Pacific Commission (1990). Leaflet No. 13 : Sweet Potato. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISSN 1018-0966.
  53. Jump up^ Ma. Idelia G. Glorioso (January–December, 2003). “10 Best Foods for Babies”. Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  54. Jump up^ Carol R. Ember & Melvin Ember, ed. (2004). Encyclopedia of Medical Anthropology: Cultures. Springer. p. 596.ISBN 9780306477546.
  55. Jump up^ Verrill, p.47
  56. Jump up^ Berrin, Katherine & Larco MuseumThe Spirit of Ancient Peru:Treasures from the Museo Arqueológico Rafael Larco Herrera. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1997.
  57. Jump up^ “Nahuatl Influences in Tagalog”. El Galéon de Acapulco News, Embajada de México, Filipinas. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  58. Jump up^ Jennifer A. Woolfe (1992). Sweet Potato: An Untapped Food Resource. Cambridge University Press. p. 307.ISBN 9780521402958.
  59. Jump up^ Rowan McKinnon, Dean Starnes, Rowan McKinnon, Jean-Bernard Carillet, & Dean Starnes (2008). Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands, 8th Edition. Lonely Planet. p. 64.ISBN 9781741045802.

References[edit]

Look up Sweet potato in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sweet potato.
Wikisource has the text of the1911 Encyclopædia Britannicaarticle Sweet Potato.
  • Abidin, P.E. 2004. Sweetpotato breeding for northeastern Uganda: Farmer varieties, farmer-participatory selection, and stability of performance. PhD Thesis, Wageningen University, The Netherlands, 152 pp. ISBN 90-8504-033-7.
  • Ahn, P.M., 1993, “Tropical soils and fertilizer use”, Intermediate Trop. Agric. Series. Longman Sci. and Tech. Ltd. UK.
  • Austin, D.F. 1988. The taxonomy, evolution and genetic diversity of sweetpotatoes and related wild species. In: P. Gregory (ed.). Exploration, maintenance, and utilization of sweetpotato genetic resources, pp. 27–60. CIP, Lima, Peru.
  • Edmond, J. B., Ammerman, G. R. 1971. Sweet Potatoes: Production, Processing, Marketing. [Major Feed and Food Crops in Agriculture and Food Series.] Westport, Connecticut: The Avi Publishing Company.
  • Hartemink, A.E., S. Poloma, M. Maino, K.S. Powell, J. Egenae & J. N. Sullivan, (2000). Yield decline of sweet potato in the humid lowlands of Papua New Guinea. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 79 (2-3), 259-269.
  • Purseglove, J.W. 1991. Tropical crops. Dicotyledons. Longman Scientific and Technical. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. NY. USA.
  • Verrill, A.H., Foods America Gave the World, 1937, Boston: L.C. Page & Co.
  • Woolfe, J.A., 1992, “Sweetpotato: an untapped food resource”, Cambridge Univ. Press and the International Potato Center (CIP). Cambridge, UK.
  • Zhang, D.P., M. Ghislain, Z. Huamán, J.C. Cervantes and E.E. Carey 1998. AFLP assessment of sweetpotato genetic diversity in four tropical American regions. CIP Program Report 1997-1998, pp. 303–310.

External links[edit]

Sydney Baker: Timmes

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Tzimmes

Tzimmes is a traditional stew for Passover, made from a combination of sweet potatoes and dried fruit.

  • SERVINGS:10
Tzimmes
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INGREDIENTS

  • 9 medium carrots, (about 1 pound), peeled
  • 4 sweet potatoes, (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup bite-size pitted prunes, (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 cup dried apricots, (about 5 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons orange zest, (from one orange)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. STEP 1

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut carrots into 2-inch pieces. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, and lower heat to medium; add sweet potatoes in their skins, and cook for 20 minutes, adding the carrots after 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, and set aside until cool enough to handle.

  2. STEP 2

    Peel sweet potatoes, and cut into 1-inch chunks. Place in a large bowl along with carrots and remaining ingredients. Mix well, and transfer to a 2-quart baking dish.

  3. STEP 3

    Cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes, basting with pan juices after 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and serve immediately.

Paella with Seafood, Chicken, and Chorizo served at Sydney’s Restaurant in Cape Town

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Sydney Baker : Paella with Seafood, Chicken, and Chorizo

Picture of Paella with Seafood, Chicken, and Chorizo Recipe

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Total Time:
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Prep
30 min
Inactive
30 min
Cook
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Yield:
2 to 4 servings
Level:
Intermediate
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Ingredients
2 chicken thighs
2 chicken legs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Spanish chorizo sausage
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Spanish onion, diced
1 (16-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
1 cup Spanish rice, short to medium grain
1 teaspoon saffron threads
3 cups water, warm
4 jumbo shrimp, peeled with heads and tails on
2 lobster tails, split
6 littleneck clams, scrubbed
1/2 cup sweet peas, frozen and thawed
Fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish
Lemon wedges, for serving
Directions
Rinse the chicken pieces and pat them dry. Mix the oregano and paprika with some salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the pieces of chicken; marinate for 30 minutes so the flavor can sink in a bit.

Heat the olive oil in a paella pan or wide shallow skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the pan, skin-side down and brown on all sides, turning with tongs. Add the chorizo and continue to cook until the oil is a vibrant red color. Remove the chicken and sausage to a platter lined with paper towels.

Return the pan to the stove and lower the heat to medium. Make a sofrito by sauteing the garlic, onion, and tomatoes; cook until the mixture caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld; season with salt and pepper. Fold in the rice, stirring to coat the grains. Stir the saffron into the rice. Pour in the water and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Do not cover or constantly stir like risotto.

Add the shrimp, lobster, clams, the reserved chicken, and the chorizo. Give the paella a couple of good stirs to tuck in all the pieces and just let it simmer, without stirring, until the rice is al dente, about 15 minutes. Scatter the peas on top and continue to cook for 5 minutes, until the paella looks fluffy and moist. The ideal paella has a toasted rice bottom called socarrat. Allow to rest, off the heat for 5 minutes, and garnish with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.

Avocado

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Avocado

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the place in California, see Avocado, California. For the Pearl Jam album, see Pearl Jam (album).
Avocado
Close-up picture of foliage and avocado fruit
Avocado fruit and foliage, Réunion island
Ripe avocado fruit and cross-section
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Angiosperms
Class: Magnoliids
Order: Laurales
Family: Lauraceae
Genus: Persea
Species: P. americana
Binomial name
Persea americana
Mill.
Synonyms
Persea gratissima

The avocado (Persea americana) is a tree native to Mexico and Central America,[1]classified in the flowering plant family Lauraceae along with cinnamoncamphor and bay laurelAvocado or alligator pear also refers to the fruitbotanically a large berry that contains a single seed.[2]

Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. They have a green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical. Commercially, they ripen after harvesting. Trees are partially self-pollinating and often are propagated through grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit.

 

 

History[edit]

Native “criollo” avocados, the ancestral form of today’s domesticated varieties

Persea americana, or the avocado, originated in the state of Puebla, Mexico. The native, undomesticated variety is known as a criollo, and is small, with dark black skin, and contains a large seed.[3] It likely coevolved with extinct megafauna.[4] The oldest evidence of avocado use was found in a cave located in Coxcatlán, Puebla, Mexico, that dates to around 10,000 BC. The avocado tree also has a long history of cultivation in Central and South America; a water jar shaped like an avocado, dating to AD 900, was discovered in the pre-Incan city of Chan Chan.[5] The earliest known written account of the avocado in Europe is that of Martín Fernández de Enciso (c.1470–c.1528) in 1518 or 1519 in his book, Suma De Geographia Que Trata De Todas Las Partidas Y Provincias Del Mundo.[6][7] The first written record in English of the use of the word ‘avocado’ was by Hans Sloane in a 1696 index of Jamaican plants. The plant was introduced to Indonesia in 1750, Brazil in 1809, the Levant in 1908, and South Africa and Australia in the late 19th century.

Etymology[edit]

The word “avocado” comes from the Spanish aguacate which in turn comes from the Nahuatl word āhuacatl [aːˈwakat͡ɬ],[8] which goes back to the proto-Aztecan *pa:wa with the same meaning.[9] In some countries of South America, such as Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, and Uruguay, the avocado is known by its Quechua name, palta. In other Spanish-speaking countries it is known by the Mexican name and in Portuguese it is abacate. The fruit is sometimes called an avocado pear or alligator pear (due to its shape and the rough green skin of some cultivars). The Nahuatl ahuacatl can be compounded with other words, as in ahuacamolli, meaning avocado soup or sauce, from which the Spanish word guacamole derives.[10]

The modern English name is not etymologically related to the similar sounding Spanish word abogado, meaning ‘lawyer’ (as inadvocate), but comes through an English rendering of the Spanish “aguacate” as “avogato“. The earliest known written use in English is attested from 1697 as “Avogato Pear”, a term which was later corrupted as “alligator pear”.[11] Because the word avogato sounded like “advocate” several languages reinterpreted it to have that meaning and “advocate”-forms of the word appear in several other Germanic languages, such as the German Advogato-Birne, the Swedish advokatpäron, the old Danish advokat-pære (today it is called “avocado”) and the Dutch advocaatpeer.[12] It is known as “butter fruit” in parts of India.[13] In eastern China it is known as è lí (鳄梨, a direct translation of “alligator pear”) or huángyóu guǒ (黄油果, “butter fruit”).

Cultivation[edit]

Persea americana, young avocado plant (seedling), complete with parted pit and roots

Food and agriculture
Country Quantity (t) 2011 World Rank[14]
Mexico 1,264,141 1
Chile 368,568 2
Dominican Republic 295,080 3
Indonesia 275,953 4
United States of America 238,544 5
Colombia 215,095 6
Peru 212,857 7
Kenya 201,478 8
Brazil 160,376 9
Rwanda 143,281 10
China 108,500 11
[14]

The tree grows to 20 m (66 ft), with alternately arranged leaves 12 centimetres (4.7 in) – 25 centimetres (9.8 in) long. The flowers are inconspicuous, greenish-yellow, 5 millimetres (0.2 in) – 10 millimetres (0.4 in) wide. The pear-shaped fruit is 7 centimetres (2.8 in) – 20 centimetres (7.9 in) long, weighs between 100 grams (3.5 oz) – 1,000 grams (35 oz), and has a large central seed, 5 centimetres (2.0 in) – 6.4 centimetres (2.5 in) long.[15]

The subtropical species needs a climate without frost and with little wind. High winds reduce the humidity, dehydrate the flowers, and affect pollination. When even a mild frost occurs, premature fruit drop may occur, although the Hass cultivar can tolerate temperatures down to −1°C. The trees also need well-aerated soils, ideally more than 1 m deep. Yield is reduced when the irrigation water is highly saline. These soil and climate conditions are available only in a few areas of the world, particularly in southern Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Crete, the Levant, South Africa, Colombia, Peru, parts of central and northern Chile, Vietnam, Indonesia, parts of southern India, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico, CaliforniaArizonaPuerto RicoTexasFlorida,Hawaii, Ecuador and Rwanda. Each region has different types of cultivars.

Harvest and postharvest[edit]

Commercial orchards produce an average of seven tonnes per hectare each year, with some orchards achieving 20 tonnes per hectare.[16] Biennial bearing can be a problem, with heavy crops in one year being followed by poor yields the next. The avocado tree does not tolerate freezing temperatures, and can be grown only in subtropical or tropical climates. There are several cold-hardy varieties planted in the region of Gainesville, Florida, which survive temperatures as low as −6.5 °C (20 °F) with only minor leaf damage.[citation needed]

The avocado is a climacteric fruit (the banana is another), which means it matures on the tree, but ripens off the tree. Avocados used in commerce are picked hard and green and kept in coolers at 3.3 to 5.6 °C (37.9 to 42.1 °F) until they reach their final destination. Avocados must be mature to ripen properly. Avocados that fall off the tree ripen on the ground. Generally, the fruit is picked once it reaches maturity; Mexican growers pick Hass-variety avocados when they have more than 23% dry matter, and other producing countries have similar standards. Once picked, avocados ripen in one to two weeks (depending on the cultivar) at room temperature(faster if stored with other fruits such as apples or bananas, because of the influence of ethylene gas). Some supermarkets sell pre-ripened avocados which have been treated with synthetic ethylene to hasten ripening.[17] The use of an ethylene gas “ripening room”, which is now an “industry standard,” was pioneered in the 1980s by farmer Gil Henry of Escondido, California, in response to footage from a hidden supermarket camera which showed shoppers repeatedly squeezing hard, unripe avocados, putting them “back in the bin,” and moving on without making a purchase.[18] In some cases avocados can be left on the tree for several months, which is an advantage to commercial growers who seek the greatest return for their crop; but if the fruit remains unpicked for too long it falls to the ground.

Breeding[edit]

A seedless avocado, or cuke, growing next to two regular avocados

The species is only partially able to self-pollinate because of dichogamy in its flowering. This limitation, added to the long juvenile period, makes the species difficult to breed. Most cultivars are propagated via grafting, having originated from random seedling plants or minor mutations derived from cultivars. Modern breeding programs tend to use isolation plots where the chances of cross-pollination are reduced. That is the case for programs at the University of California, Riverside, as well as the Volcani Centre and the Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias in Chile.

The avocado is unusual in that the timing of the male and female flower phases differs among cultivars. There are two flowering types, “A” and “B”. “A” cultivar flowers open as female on the morning of the first day and close in late morning or early afternoon. Then they open as male in the afternoon of the second day. “B” varieties open as female on the afternoon of the first day, close in late afternoon and reopen as male the following morning.

  • “A” cultivars: Hass, Gwen, Lamb Hass, Pinkerton, Reed.
  • “B” cultivars: Fuerte, Sharwil, Zutano, Bacon, Ettinger, Sir Prize, Walter Hole.[19][20]

Certain cultivars, such as the Hass, have a tendency to bear well only in alternate years. After a season with a low yield, due to factors such as cold (which the avocado does not tolerate well), the trees tend to produce abundantly the next season. In addition, due to environmental circumstances during some years, seedless avocados may appear on the trees.[21] Known in the avocado industry as “cukes”, they are usually discarded commercially due to their small size.[22]

Propagation and rootstocks[edit]

Avocado is usually treated with a special technique to assist its sprouting process

A young avocado sprout

Avocados can be propagated by seed, taking roughly four to six years to bear fruit, although in some cases seedlings can take 10 years to come into bearing.[23] The offspring is unlikely to be identical to the parent cultivar in fruit quality. Prime quality varieties are therefore propagated by grafting to rootstocks that are propagated by seed (seedling rootstocks) or by layering (clonal rootstocks). After about a year of growing in a greenhouse, the young rootstocks are ready to be grafted. Terminal and lateral grafting is normally used. The scion cultivar grows for another 6–12 months before the tree is ready to be sold. Clonal rootstocks are selected for tolerance of specific soil and disease conditions, such as poor soil aeration or resistance to the soil-borne disease (root rot) caused by Phytophthora.

Growing indoors[edit]

Usually, avocados are grown from pits indoors. This is often done by removing the pit from a ripe, unrefrigerated avocado. The pit is then stabbed with three or four toothpicks, about one third of the way up. The pit is placed in a jar or vase containing tepid water. It should split in four to six weeks and yield roots and a sprout. If there is no change by this time, the avocado pit is discarded. Once the stem has grown a few inches, it is placed in a pot with soil. It should be watered every few days. Avocados have been known to grow large, so owners must be ready to repot the plant several times.

Diseases[edit]

P. americana, avocado plant flowers

Avocado trees are vulnerable to bacterialviralfungal and nutritional diseases (excesses and deficiencies of key minerals). Disease can affect all parts of the plant, causing spotting, rotting, cankers, pitting and discoloration.[24]

Cultivation in California[edit]

The avocado was introduced from Mexico to California in the 19th century, and has become a successful cash crop. About 59,000 acres (240 km2) – some 95% of United States avocado production – is located in Southern California, with 60% in San Diego County.[25][26] Fallbrook, California, claims the title of “Avocado Capital of the World” (also claimed by the town of UruapanMichoacánMéxico[27]), and both Fallbrook andCarpinteria, California, host annual avocado festivals.

Cultivation in Mexico[edit]

Mexico produces most of the world’s avocado,[28] and avocado is one of the primary cultivars for export, the eighth cultivar by production volume. In 2013 the total area dedicated to avocado production was 168,155 hectares (415,520 acres), and the harvest was of 1,109,814 tonnes.[29] The states that produce the most are México, Morelos, Nayarit og Puebla, and Michoacan which accounts for 86% of the total.[30] In Michoacan the cultivation is complicated by the existence of drug cartels that extort protection fees from cultivators. They are reported to exact 2000 Mexican pesos per hectar from avocado farmers and an additional 1 to 3 pesos per kilo of harvested fruit.[31]

A cultivars[edit]

Two Hass avocados

Choquette
A seedling from Miami, Florida, on the property of Remi Choquette. Now a favored commercial cultivar in south Florida.
Hass
While dozens of cultivars are grown, the Hass avocado is today the most common. It produces fruit year-round and accounts for 80% of cultivated avocados in the world.[7][32]All Hass avocado trees are descended from a single “mother tree” raised by a mail carrier named Rudolph Hass, of La Habra Heights, California.[6][32] Hass patented the productive tree in 1935. The “mother tree”, of uncertain subspecies, died of root rot and was cut down in September, 2002.[7][32][33] Hass trees have medium-sized (150–250 g or 5.3–8.8 oz), ovate fruit with a black, pebbled skin. The flesh has a nutty, rich flavor with 19% oil. A hybrid Guatemalan type can withstand temperatures to −1 °C (30 °F).
Gwen
A seedling bred from Hass x Thille in 1982, Gwen is higher yielding and more dwarfing than Hass in California. The fruit has an oval shape, slightly smaller than Hass (100–200 g or 3.5–7.1 oz), with a rich, nutty flavor. The skin texture is more finely pebbled than Hass, and is dull green when ripe. It is frost-hardy down to −1 °C (30 °F).
Lula
A seedling reportedly grown from a “Taft” avocado planted in Miami, Florida, on the property of George Cellon, named after Cellon’s wife, Lula. It was likely a cross between Mexican and Guatemalan types. Lula was recognized for its flavor and high oil content and propagated commercially in Florida. It is also very commonly used as a rootstock for nursery production. Hardy to −4 °C (25 °F)
Pinkerton
First grown on the Pinkerton Ranch in Saticoy, California, in the early 1970s, Pinkerton is a seedling of Hass’s Rincon. The large fruit has a small seed, and its green skin deepens in color as it ripens. The thick flesh has a smooth, creamy texture, pale green color, good flavor and high oil content. It shows some cold tolerance, to −1 °C (30 °F) and bears consistently heavy crops. A hybrid Guatemalan type, it has excellent peeling characteristics.
Reed
Developed from a chance seedling found in 1948 by James S. Reed in California, Reed has large, round, green fruit with a smooth texture and dark, thick, glossy skin. Smooth and delicate, the flesh has a slightly nutty flavor. The skin ripens green. A Guatemalan type, it is hardy to −1 °C (30 °F). Tree size is about 5 by 4 meters (16.4 by 13.1 ft).

B cultivars[edit]

Bacon
Developed by a farmer, James Bacon, in 1954, Bacon has medium-sized fruit with smooth, green skin with yellow-green, light tasting flesh. When ripe, the skin remains green, but darkens slightly, and fruit yields to gentle pressure. It is cold-hardy down to −5 °C (23 °F).
Brogden
Possibly a cross between Mexican and West Indian types, Brogden originated as a seedling grown in Winter Haven, Florida on the property of Tom W. Brogden. The variety was recognized for its cold-hardiness to −5 °C (23 °F) and became commercially propagated as nursery-stock for home growing. It is noted for its dark purple skin at maturity.
Ettinger
A Mexican/Guatemalan cross seedling of Fuerte, this cultivar originated in Israel, and was put into production there in 1947. Mature trees tolerate four hours at −6 °C (21 °F). The fruit has a smooth, thin, green skin that does not peel easily. The flesh is very pale green.

Avocado fruit (cv. ‘Fuerte’); left: whole, right: in section

Fuerte
A Mexican/Guatemalan cross originating in Puebla, the Fuerte earned its name, which means strong in Spanish, after it withstood a severe frost in California in 1913. Hardy to −3 °C (27 °F), it has medium-sized, pear-shaped fruit with a green, leathery, easy to peel skin. The creamy flesh of mild and rich flavour has 18% oil. The skin ripens green. Tree size is 6 by 4 meters (19.7 by 13.1 ft).
Monroe
A Guatemalan/West Indian cross that originated from a seedling grown in Homestead, Florida on the property of J.J.L. Phillips, it was patented in 1937 and became a major commercial cultivar due to its cold hardiness and production qualities. The fruit is large, averaging over two pounds (0.91 kg) in weight, has an elliptical shape, and green, glossy skin. Hardy to −3 °C (27 °F).
Sharwil
Predominantly Guatemalan, with some Mexican race genes, Sharwil was selected in 1951 by Sir Frank Sharpe at Redland Bay, southern Queensland, Australia. The name “Sharwil” is an amalgamation of Sharp and Wilson (J.C. Wilson being the first propagator). Scions were sent from Australia to Hawaii in 1966. A medium-sized fruit with rough green skin, it closely resembles the Fuerte, but is slightly more oval in shape. The fruit has greenish-yellow flesh with a rich, nutty flavor and high oil content (20–24%), and a small seed. The skin is green when ripe. It represents more than 57% of the commercial farming in Hawaii, and represents up to 20% of all avocados grown in New South Wales, Australia. It is a regular and moderate bearer with excellent quality fruit, but is sensitive to frost. Disease and pest resistance are superior to Fuerte.
Zutano
Originated by R.L. Ruitt in Fallbrook in 1926, this Mexican variety is hardy to −4 °C (25 °F). The large, pear-shaped fruit has a shiny, thin, yellow-green skin that peels moderately easily. The flesh is pale green with fibers and has a light flavor.

Other cultivars[edit]

Other avocado cultivars include Spinks. The fruit of the cultivar Florida, grown mostly outside California, is larger and rounder, with a smooth, medium-green skin, and a less-fatty, firmer and fibrous flesh. These are occasionally marketed as low-calorie avocados. Historically attested varieties (which may or may not survive among Horticulturists) include the Challenge, Dickinson, Kist, Queen, Rey, Royal, Sharpless, and Taft.[34]

Avocado-related international trade issues[edit]

First international air shipment of avocados from Los Angeles, California, toToronto, Ontario, for the Canadian National Exhibition

After the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect in 1994, Mexico tried exporting avocados to the US. The US government resisted, claiming the trade would introduce Tephritidae fruit flies that would destroy California’s crops. The Mexican government responded by inviting USDA inspectors to Mexico, but the U.S. government declined, claiming fruit fly inspection was not feasible. The Mexican government then proposed to sell avocados only to the northeastern US in the winter (fruit flies cannot withstand extreme cold). The US government balked, but gave in when the Mexican government started erecting barriers to US corn.

Today, avocados from Mexico are allowed throughout the US, because USDA inspectors inMichoacán (where 90% of Hass avocados from Mexico are grown) inspected fruit inUruapan. Imports from Mexico in the 2005–2006 season exceeded 130,000 metric tons(143,300 short tons; 127,900 long tons).[35][36]

In 2009, Peru joined Chile and Mexico as an exporter of avocados to the US.[37]

In the US avocados are grown in California and Florida, where land, labor and water are expensive. Avocado trees require frequent, deep watering to bear optimally, particularly in spring, summer, and fall. Due to increased Southern Californian water costs, they are now costly to grow. California produces 90% of the United States’ avocados.[25]

As of 2013, Mexico leads international exports, with other significant production in California, New Zealand, Peru and South Africa.

Culinary uses[edit]

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this articleby adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.(March 2009)
Avocados, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 670 kJ (160 kcal)
Carbohydrates 8.53 g
– Sugars 0.66 g
– Dietary fiber 6.7 g
Fat 14.66 g
– saturated 2.13 g
– monounsaturated 9.80 g
– polyunsaturated 1.82 g
Protein 2 g
Water 73.23 g
Vitamin A equiv. 7 μg (1%)
– beta-carotene 62 μg (1%)
– lutein and zeaxanthin 271 μg
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.067 mg (6%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.13 mg (11%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 1.738 mg (12%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 1.389 mg (28%)
Vitamin B6 0.257 mg (20%)
Folate (vit. B9) 81 μg (20%)
Vitamin C 10 mg (12%)
Vitamin E 2.07 mg (14%)
Vitamin K 21 μg (20%)
Calcium 12 mg (1%)
Iron 0.55 mg (4%)
Magnesium 29 mg (8%)
Manganese 0.142 mg (7%)
Phosphorus 52 mg (7%)
Potassium 485 mg (10%)
Sodium 7 mg (0%)
Zinc 0.64 mg (7%)
Fluoride 7 µg
Link to USDA Database entry
Percentages are roughly approximated
using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

The fruit of horticultural cultivars has a markedly higher fat content than most other fruit, mostly monounsaturated fat, and as such serves as an important staple in the diet of various groups where access to other fatty foods (high-fat meats and fish, dairy products, etc.) is limited.

A ripe avocado yields to gentle pressure when held in the palm of the hand and squeezed. The flesh is prone to enzymatic browning; it turns brown quickly after exposure to air.[38]To prevent this, lime or lemon juice can be added to avocados after they are peeled.

Indonesian-style avocado milkshake with chocolate syrup

The fruit is not sweet, but rich, and distinctly yet subtly flavored, and of smooth, almost creamy texture. It is used in both savory and sweet dishes, though in many countries not for both. The avocado is very popular invegetarian cuisine, as substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads because of its high fat content.

Generally, avocado is served raw, though some cultivars, including the common Hass, can be cooked for a short time without becoming bitter. Caution should be used when cooking with untested cultivars; the flesh of some avocados may be rendered inedible by heat. Prolonged cooking induces this chemical reaction in all cultivars.[39]

It is used as the base for the Mexican dip known asguacamole, as well as a spread on corn tortillas or toast, served with spices.

In the PhilippinesBrazilIndonesiaVietnam, and southern India (especially the coastal Kerala and Karnataka region), avocados are frequently used for milkshakes and occasionally added to ice cream and other desserts. InBrazilVietnam, the Philippines[40] and Indonesia, a dessert drink is made with sugar, milk or water, and pureed avocado. Chocolate syrup is sometimes added. In Morocco, there is a similar chilled avocado and milk drink, that is sweetened with confectioner’s sugar and hinted with orange flower water.

In Ethiopia, avocados are made into juice by mixing them with sugar and milk or water, usually served with Vimto and a slice of lemon. It is also very common to serve layered multiple fruit juices in a glass (locally called Spris) made of avocados, mangoes, bananas, guavas and papayas. Avocados are also used to make salads.

Avocados in savory dishes, often seen as exotic, are a relative novelty in Portuguese-speaking countries, such as Brazil, where the traditional preparation is mashed with sugar and lime, and eaten as a dessert or snack. This contrasts with Spanish-speaking countries, such as Mexico or Argentina, where the opposite is true and sweet preparations are often unheard of.

In Australia and New Zealand, it is commonly served in sandwiches, sushi, on toast, or with chicken. In Ghana, it is often eaten alone in sliced bread as a sandwich. In Sri Lanka, well ripened flesh, thoroughly mashed with sugar and milk, or treacle (a syrup made from the nectar of a particular palm flower) was once a popular dessert. In Haiti it is often consumed with cassava or regular bread for breakfast.

In Mexico and Central America, avocados are served mixed with white rice, in soups, salads, or on the side of chicken and meat. In Peru, they are consumed with tequeños as mayonnaise, served as a side dish with parrillas, used in salads and sandwiches, or as a whole dish when filled with tuna, shrimp, or chicken. In Chile, it is used as a puree with chicken, hamburgers, and hot dogs; and in slices for celery or lettuce salads. The Chilean version of Caesar salad contains large slices of mature avocado. In Kenya and Nigeria, the avocado is often eaten as a fruit, and is eaten alone, or mixed with other fruits in a fruit salad, or as part of a vegetable salad. In Iran, it is used as a rejuvenating facial cream.

Avocado slices are frequently added to hamburgers, tortashot dogs, and carne asada. Avocado can be combined with eggs (in scrambled eggs, tortillas or omelettes), and is a key ingredient in California rolls and other makizushi (“maki”, or rolled sushi).

In southern Africa, Avocado Ritz is a common dish.[41]

In the United Kingdom, the avocado became widely available in the 1960s when it was introduced by Sainsbury’s under the name ‘avocado pear’.[42]

Nutritional value[edit]

Avocados have diverse fats.[43] For a typical avocado:

High avocado intake was shown in one preliminary study to lower blood cholesterol levels. Specifically, after a seven-day diet rich in avocados, mild hypercholesterolemia patients showed a 17% decrease in total serum cholesterol levels. These subjects also showed a 22% decrease in both LDL (harmful cholesterol) and triglyceride levels and 11% increase in HDL (helpful cholesterol) levels.[46] A 2013epidemiological report showed that American avocado consumers had better overall diet quality, nutrient levels, and reduced risk ofmetabolic syndrome.[47]

Extracts of avocado have been studied in laboratory research to assess potential for lowering risk of diabetes mellitus.[48]

A Japanese team synthesised the four chiral components of avocado, and identified (2R, 4R)-16-heptadecene-1, 2, 4-triol as a potentialantibacterial component.[49] Due to a combination of specific aliphatic acetogenins, avocado is under preliminary research for potential anti-cancer activity.[50]

As a houseplant[edit]

This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed. (May 2012)

20cm avocado houseplant leaf

While not particularly popular, the avocado tree can be grown domestically and used as a (decorative) houseplant. The pit germinates in normal soil conditions or partially submerged in a container of water. In the latter method, the pit sprouts in four to six weeks, at which time it is planted in fertile soil such as potting soil. The plant normally grows large enough to be prunable; however, it does not bear fruit unless it has ample sunlight. Home gardeners can graft a branch from a fruit-bearing plant to speed maturity, which typically takes four to six years to bear fruit. To obtain fresh avocado produce, however, more than one tree must be cultivated for crosspollination.[51]

Allergies[edit]

Some people have allergic reactions to avocado. There are two main forms of allergy: those with a tree-pollen allergy develop local symptoms in the mouth and throat shortly after eating avocado; the second, known as latex-fruit syndrome,[52] is related to latex allergy[53] and symptoms include generalised urticaria, abdominal pain, and vomiting and can sometimes be life-threatening.[54]

Toxicity to animals[edit]

Avocado leaves, bark, skin, or pit are documented to be harmful to animals; cats, dogs, cattle, goats, rabbits,[55] rats, guinea pigs, birds, fish, and horses[26][56] can be severely harmed or even killed when they consume them. The avocado fruit is poisonous to some birds, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) lists it as toxic to many animals including cats, dogs, and horses.[57]

Avocado leaves contain a toxic fatty acid derivative, persin, which in sufficient quantity can cause colic in horses and, without veterinary treatment, death.[58] The symptoms include gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting, diarrhoea, respiratory distress, congestion, fluid accumulation around the tissues of the heart, and even death. Birds also seem to be particularly sensitive to this toxic compound. A line of premium dog and cat food, AvoDerm, uses oils and meal made from avocado meat as main ingredients.[59] The manufacturer says the avocado’s leaves and pit are the source of toxicity, and only in the Guatemalan variety of avocados, and the fruit is often eaten by orchard dogs as well as wildlife such as bears and coyotes.[60]

Co-evolution[edit]

In 1982, the evolutionary biologist Daniel H. Janzen suggested that the avocado may be an example of an ‘evolutionary anachronism‘, a fruit adapted for ecological relationship with now-extinct large mammals (such as giant ground sloths or gomphotheres). Most large fleshy fruits serve the function of seed dispersal, accomplished by their consumption by large animals. There are some reasons to think that the fruit, with its mildly toxic pit, may have co-evolved with Pleistocene megafauna to be swallowed whole and excreted in their dung, ready to sprout. No extant native animal is large enough to effectively disperse avocado seeds in this fashion.[61][62]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ Chen, H.; Morrell, P. L.; Ashworth, V. E. T. M.; De La Cruz, M.; Clegg, M. T. (2008). “Tracing the Geographic Origins of Major Avocado Cultivars”. Journal of Heredity 100 (1): 56–65.doi:10.1093/jhered/esn068PMID 18779226.
  2. Jump up^ Storey, W. B. “What kind of fruit is the avocado?”California Avocado Society 1973–74 Yearbook 57: 70–71.
  3. Jump up^ Villanueva, M. and Verti, S. “El aguacate: Oro verde de México, orgullo de Michoacán”Gobierno del Estado de Michoacán. Retrieved 2020-06-06.
  4. Jump up^ Smith, K. Annabelle. “Why the Avocado Should Have Gone the Way of the Dodo”Smithsonian MagazineThe Smithsonian. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  5. Jump up^ Barry, PC (2001-04-07). “Avocado: The Early Roots of Avocado History”. Canku Ota. Archived from the original on 15 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-29.
  6. Jump up to:a b “Avocado History”IndexFresh.comBloomington, CA: Index Fresh Avocado. 2007. Archived from the original on December 25, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-29.[unreliable source?]
  7. Jump up to:a b c Stradley, Linda (2004). “All About Avocados: History of the Hass Avocado”What’sCookingAmerica.netNewberg, OR: self-published. Retrieved 2008-05-13. While this is a self-published work, it cites its sources, and Stradley is a well-known culinary author.
  8. Jump up^ Nahuatl Dictionary/Diccionario del náhuatl. Whp.uoregon.edu. Retrieved on 2013-07-25.
  9. Jump up^ Dakin, Karen (1982). La evolución fonológica del Protonáhuatl. México D.F.: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas. p. 210. ISBN 968-5802-92-0OCLC 10216962. (Spanish)
  10. Jump up^ “Avocado”. Thefloweringgarden.com. 2007-08-08.Archived from the original on 10 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  11. Jump up^ Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989), articles “avocado”, “alligator, n.2”
  12. Jump up^ Svenska Akademiens ordbok, “advokat“; Ordbog over det danske Sprog, “avocado“; Woordenboek der Nederlandsche Taal, “avocado“, all meaning “advocate pear”.
  13. Jump up^ “Avocado holds promise for Wayanad farmers”. The Hindu. 2010-04-16.
  14. Jump up to:a b FAO (2011) Major Producers of Avocado
  15. Jump up^ Dowling, Curtis F.; Morton, Julia Frances (1987). Fruits of warm climates. Miami, Fla: J.F. Morton. ISBN 0-9610184-1-0.
  16. Jump up^ Whiley, A (2000-09-01). “Avocado Production in Australia”.Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.Archived from the original on 12 January 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-29.
  17. Jump up^ “Ethylene gas and produce”. Mindfully.org. 1976-06-01.Archived from the original on 26 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  18. Jump up^ Steve Chawkins (2013-06-03). “Gil Henry dies at 88; revolutionized avocado industry; Henry pioneered the use of a ‘ripening room’ at his family’s Escondido farm. The method, now an industry standard, allows markets to sell fruit that is ready to eat or close to it.”Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-06-04.
  19. Jump up^ “Agriculture Handbook”University of California. 2007.Archived from the original on 17 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-29.
  20. Jump up^ Crane, JH; Balerdi CF, Maguire I (2007-08-01). “Avocado Growing in the Florida Home Landscape”University of FloridaArchived from the original on 13 January 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-29.
  21. Jump up^ Blumenfeld, Amos; Gazit, Shmuel. “Development of Seeded and Seedless Avocado Fruit”Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, Bet-Dagan, Israel. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
  22. Jump up^ Stewart, W.S.; Smoyer, K.M.; Puffer, R.E. “Progress Report on Effects of Plant Growth Regulator Sprays on Avocados”.California Avocado Society 1948 Yearbook 33: 113–116. Retrieved 2010-09-21.
  23. Jump up^ Boning, Charles (2006). Florida’s Best Fruiting Plants: Native and Exotic Trees, Shrubs, and Vines. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, Inc. p. 33.
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  25. Jump up to:a b “Avocado Fun Facts”. California Avocado Commission. Retrieved 2012-04-18.
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  27. Jump up^ http://www.uruapaninteractivo.com/uruapan.htm
  28. Jump up^http://www.novagrim.com/Pages/2000_2011_avocado_statistics_EN.aspx
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  50. Jump up^ D’Ambrosio, S. M.; Han, C.; Pan, L.; Kinghorn, A. D.; Ding, H. (2011). “Aliphatic acetogenin constituents of avocado fruits inhibit human oral cancer cell proliferation by targeting the EGFR/RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK1/2 pathway”. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 409 (3): 465–469. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2011.05.027.
  51. Jump up^ “Growing Avocado As A House Plant”. Basic Garden Tips. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
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  53. Jump up^ “Latex allergy”Better Health Channel.
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Further reading[edit]

  • Bruce Shaffer, B. Nigel Wolstenhome and Anthony W. Whiley, ed. (2012). The Avocado: Botany, Production and Uses. CABI.ISBN 9781845937010.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Persea americana.
Look up avocado in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikibooks Cookbook has a recipe/module on

Wikisource has the text of the1911 Encyclopædia Britannicaarticle Avocado Pear.