Avocado: Ancient Fruit of Intrigue Part 1 of 5
Since I wrote the longest post in the history of the blogosphere I am dubbing this week avocado week for my five part series.
When I think of avocados I picture hippies, sandwiches made with brown bread, sprouts, and avocado slices. I also think of people sitting in spas with their faces covered with green goo and of course, California Rolls with their signature pink and green centers. Avocados aren’t some newfangled invention of 20th Century beauty mavericks, or hippie health nuts.
Avocados weren’t always the highly esteemed fruit they are today, in fact it may have been the avocado’s name that led to some misconceptions and scandalous perceptions about the fruit. In the Nahutal language, the language the Aztecs spoke, the name for avocado is āhuacatl, which translates directly to testicle. It’s bad enough that the fruit was named after a certain part of male anatomy, but it was also a powerful symbol of fertility to the Aztecs, who, according to lore, would lock their virgin daughters inside their houses during the harvesting season. When the Conquistadors and Colonists got a load of that you can believe they must have been frightened. Misconceptions were so extreme that person who ate an avocado would find it very difficult to maintain their chaste image. In the 1920s are large ad campaign was launched to dispel perceptions about the aphrodisiac effects of the fruit.
Tomorrow I will be posting about the Conquistadors and the avocado’s introduction to the old world.