Saturday, July 08, 2006

Avocado mush

As a child, the only avocados we would eat were liberally whipped up with milk and sugar, at times frozen for that pseudo-ice cream feel, but mostly eaten straight up, no fuss dessert. I wasn't that keen on it though. Avocados have a unusual sweet and savory mouth feel. A meaty fruit, full of fat, but good fats, especially if you want to lubricate your joints. I could have cared less about my joints as a 10 year old. Thus avocados never joined the top of my favorite fruits.

Over time, I was introduced to the savory aspect of avocados, mostly guacamole or as a sliced ingredient in a salad. Again, they never found a spot in my heart. It took a trip to San Antonio, Texas, to change how I viewed guacamole. Watching the handmade preparation and sheer love given to the dish, all the while told about how the ingredients meld to make a delicious puree for more than a mere tortilla chip. And it was delicious. And I learned to love the avocado.

Nowadays, avocados are all over the markets, some markets offering better fruits than others. I especially like to find the just ripened avocados at Salcedo market on Saturday. They aren't rock hard or look like they'd be best used as ballast for a ship. They're firm, not mushy, but a gentle press against the skin shows they're ready to eat.

Cutting them open, the meat is a clean green color, and without any blotches. It's creamy and ready for my fork. I don't use a blender or any special mashing instruments, just a fork. Before hand, I've crushed some garlic, chopped some jalapeno peppers, minced the cilantro and onions, and juiced some lime (plus grated the zest of a lemon). Some rock salt and black pepper, and I'm ready to blend it all together. It makes for a lovely mix, and I'm spooning it over my salad or eating it straight with freshly cut carrots or radish chips. I like my guacamole spicy, and that will sometimes mean no one else can or will eat it. Heehee, more for me!

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