Some new things I’ve learned about one of my favorite fruits (yep, it’s a fruit, a berry no less!): 

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1. Avocado skins produce a lovely shade of brown yarn dye.

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2. Spanish conquistadors discovered that the seed contains a milky liquid that becomes red when exposed to the air and made use of the reddish brown or blackish indelible ink for writing documents (Stradley, 2004). 

Note to self: remember to save the avocado pits for the next round of experimental dyeing.

3. Aguacate comes from the Nahuatl word Ahuacatl meaning “testicle” and was considered a fertility fruit and sexual stimulant. 

4.. Avocado leaves can make a tasty ingredient when cooking and also have medicinal properties.  For more info and recipes click here.

5. Avocados won’t be soften until after they’ve fallen or been plucked from the tree.

6. All Hass avocados (the only avocado that can be produced  year round) grown in the United States come from plants that can be traced back to one mother tree planted by Rudolph Hass in his front yard in 1926 and patented in 1935.  Sadly, the mother tree died in 2002, the family installed a commemorative placket in its place and made jewelery from the wood from the tree. 

See Lisa Stradley’s informative article “All About Avocados”at What’s Cooking America for a more complete avocado history and time line.