Friday, December 16, 2016

Avocado deserving laurels

Avocados are in season and La Gomera has a plentiful supply. I was given the monster in the picture above yesterday and it weighs 2,65 lbs. It is by no means the largest specimen I've come across here, and it comes from an avocado tree which isn't even fertilised, growing almost wild. The avocados in La Gomera are the best I've ever tasted and simply delicious. Most of the fruit here could be called 'organically grown' as nearly all of the avocado trees in La Gomera are left to themselves without being fertilised or sprayed. They do extremely well in the island's climate and soil, the only problem may be strong winds which can sometimes tear unripe fruit off the trees and diminish the harvest. 
The avocado (Persea Americana), originally from Mexico,  is a member of the Laurel family of trees. In the ancient forest in La Gomera's national park another member of the Laurel family, Persea Indica (locally called Viñatigo), is very common and the tallest tree in the Laurisilva woods. The two are closely related, but the Persea Indica which can grow in excess of 100 ft tall, contains a highly toxic alkaloid and should not be confused with another member of the Laurel family growing in La Gomera's forests which is Laurus Nobilis, the bay leaf tree. In all more than a dozen different varieties of the evergreen laurel have been growing for nearly two million years in what is now the island's national park.
The avocados grown in La Gomera come mainly in two varieties. The one pictured above is the more pear shaped type which has a smoother skin of shiny green colour. Its taste is very mild, light, creamy and it contains less fat than the second which is more rounded in shape. This one has a rougher, thicker and more wrinkled skin of dark geen-brown colour and is generally smaller than the former. Its taste is fuller and slightly nutty because of the higher fat content.
They're called 'aguacates' in Spanish and are grown here mostly for local consumption, available most of the year.
(B)utterly delicious and nutritious !

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