How was guacamole invented
At one point in the 1920s, on the outskirts of Los Angeles, a friendly local post office worker decided to buy himself an avocado seed. He did this with great success and planted the seeds accordingly in his garden with the intention of developing a new avocado variety. However, the plugs did not grow and the postman decided to just cut the uncooperative tree again.
His children convinced the postman, Mr. Rudolph Hass, to save this particular tree. They thought the avocados from this tree were much tastier than those from the store. And so his children not only saved Mr. Hass's legacy, but changed guacamole and avocado toast as we know it today. In 1935 he patented the Hass avocado, a fertile variety of the fleshy, buttery fruit that now makes up a good 95% of the 4 billion avocados consumed in the United States each year.
The culinary landscape of the avocado today is largely different from that of Rudolph Hass's lifetime. The average American now eats seven pounds of avocados a year; 100 years ago, almost no one outside of California knew the fruit. Although the plant had been grown for decorative purposes since the 1830s, there was no commercial production anywhere in the country. In addition, the avocados as we know them had a bit of a marketing problem back then.
'El Ahuacate', the pear-shaped fruit with a rough skin, has been around since at least 500 BC. an integral part of the diet in Central and South America. Spanish conquistadors also fell in love with the nutty taste and buttery texture they first experienced in the 16th century. Unfortunately, 'ahuacate' was difficult to pronounce for many 20th century Americans. In addition, it was the Aztec term for "testicles", a name that was cemented by its legendary function as an aphrodisiac, which did not make it easy to sell to the prudish American population.
But for those eaters who already knew the fruit at the beginning of the 20th century, mostly from the growing regions of California and Florida, the avocado was already a hit. The first hotels in Los Angeles and San Francisco sold the fruit for $ 1 each (about $ 24 today), earning the fruit the nickname "green gold." The most valuable fruit trees of the time were avocado trees.
But there was still the problem with the phallic name. The delicious fruit has received various other European names over the centuries. She was known to the Spaniards as Aguacate and to British sailors as "Oberfähnrichs Butter". At one point in the 19th century, Americans began calling it "alligator pear," another name that growers saw its ruin. So on May 15, 1915, a gathering of California producers in a Los Angeles hotel decided to simply invent a name of their own: "the avocado". They informed the nation's dictionaries of their decision and organized themselves into the California Avocado Association to get their way.
At first there were very few of the fruits that were sold for exorbitant prices, the newfangled avocado was a luxury good. Typical of the larger and highly seasonal Fuerte variety were advertisements in Vogue and New Yorker in the 1920s, calling the fruit the "aristocrat of salad fruits". Famous chefs got commission for serving the fruit with grapefruit or filling it with lobster and serving it to their well-heeled customers.
But over time, the good quality and high yields of Rudolph Hass's tree became increasingly popular with avocado growers. Production expanded and prices dropped from $ 1 to 25 cents in the 1950s, at which point the masses became interested in the decadent fruit. In fact, the New York Times recommended slicing the avocado back in the 60s and spreading it on toast, which established the avocado toast trend on Instagram at least 50 years ago.
The popularity of the avocado increased further and further, not least because of the great waves of immigration from Latin America, following the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965. The avocado is still native to Central and South America and is used there in many ways. When Latin Americans came to America, they brought their love for avocados with them, a trend that continues to this day. According to the Hass Avocado Board, 90% of Hispanic Americans identified themselves as avocado eaters in the past decade, while only 50% of the rest of the population did.
The low-fat food mission campaign in the 1980s negatively affected the consumption of the famously high-fat avocado. In the 1990s, however, with a surge of avocados being shipped from Mexico thanks to NAFTA and another savvy marketing push from avocado producers who used guacamole in conjunction with the Super Bowl, prices fell again and consumption skyrocketed. The modern American obsession with the fruit has blossomed to such heights today that the entire continent is now in dire straits. This is certainly more than Rudolph Hass ever dreamed of when his experiment with the fruit nearly failed - but the perfect ending to what could be called America's avocado century.
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