June 9, 2011: I really like avocados. It's not something I talk a lot about, but it's true. I mean, I really love them, actually.
To begin, you may or may not know that my favorite color is green. (You may or may not care, but it's important I establish that, given how green avocados really are.) Avocados offer a range of greens to them also, not just one, like some produce -- (oranges, for instance, in my estimation, don't try hard enough; it's like they just live on their reputation, while avocados are always giving it their all). That's one of the things I love about avocados -- their greenness. There's the initial skin, which is often brown actually, and I have nothing against brown, per se, but it doesn't satisfy me at the level that green does. Anyway, they're also green inside, and it's such a lovely green (and I know greens, believe me!).
More interesting, they also kind of roll in color inside from that deep, gritty green into soft yellow, and I just love that. It reminds me of a pistachio nut, which I really love for their color range, which will have that green to yellow transition (and a nice red shell in many cases), and pistachio nuts remind me of autumn leaves in the earlier part of the season, in particular the maples. Or perhaps more accurately the maples, especially the sugar maples, remind me of pistachio nuts, which in turn remind me of avocados, but not quite as much, but you see how it all comes full circle, and I haven't even gotten to the fourth paragraph yet.
I also really love the consistency of avocados -- that firm yet mushy quality that holds its form so well, and yet can be mashed at those times when a mashing is in order. It might be worth noting here (and why not here, for who knows for how long I can keep going on about a vegetable, after all) that I have a very great way of peeling avocados simply and quickly and cleanly ... but I won't tell it to you here and you'll have to write me directly if you want to know it.
I like how avocados taste, too. It's a nutty taste, though not quite pistachio-ian in nature. I love guacamole too, but an avocado alone still lights up my train whistle. I hate it when they start turning, however, and some crappy restaurants will try and serve you avocado with those awful grey-black patches of disgust. Shame on them, the dirty, mealy bastards! Avocados are often put on hamburgers in California, which was one of the things that really attracted me to the idea of moving there years ago. (Now you can get avocado on burgers in Connecticut, so why leave the state?!)
Another great thing about the avocado is that enormous seed. I mean, how can you not love that seed. It's not even a seed, or at least to call it a seed seems insubstantial. It should be called a pod, or a goiter or something. And I have an especial fondness for those seeds because, for some strange reason, my mother used to always try growing them when I was a kid. Yes, she had some weird book -- I remember it was green -- not avocado green, but more of a lime green -- and just such a 1969 artifact (back when they made books of irregular size and length, and on unique topics like growing avocados). And so my mom would stick toothpicks in these seeds and put them in a glass of water and hide them in a dark cabinet ... and there they'd start growing roots, like those pods in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," and the water would turn brown and when they got big enough, I guess, she'd plant them and they never grew. But it was always a nice kind of thing, really, these nice avocado goiters sprouting in our dark cabinets, like alien symbiotes.
I haven't touched on many other aspects of the avocado, but perhaps I can revisit the topic later in the summer. I'm remembering fondly the one and only time I ever actually saw an avocado tree, which was a few years ago when I was living in Santa Monica, and I just randomly happened to walk by one in front of someone's lawn -- this little leafy plant with a whole mess of these things hanging off of it. It was awesome. "Hey!" I said outloud, even though I was alone (and you see, it was okay, because this was California), and I said, "That's an avocado tree!"
And it was!