The History of Avocado

As heavenly as its taste may seem, avocados do not come from heaven.

The native home of avocado, or Persea Drymifolia, is in Mexico and it has been discovered around 291 B.C. by early Spanish explorers.

Evidence shows that the avocado was a well-known food in the markets of Mexico City in as far back as 1554.  But it hasn’t been described and recorded until 1575 by Francisco Cervantes Salazar, one of Mexico’s earliest chroniclers.

Although considered a tasteless fruit, avocados have been used as a sexual stimulant by the Aztecs.  Early Spanish voyagers found them eating and enjoying this creamy produce and it was these Spanish voyagers who brought avocado to the English.

Propagation and Distribution

The extent of the avocado’s distribution is not exactly known.  Few efforts were made to locate the accurate region where this fruit is truly and authentically indigenous.

However, it is common knowledge that the avocado only became a commercial crop in the early 1900s when it was discovered that the tree can be grafted.  Hybrids demonstrated notable adaptation even when grown in sea level or elevated locations and in places with subtropical climates.

Thus, the avocado proliferated from Mexico to Guatemala, West Indies and to other parts of the globe.

Avocado was not normally eaten in Europe – not until the late 20th century.  In the United States, specifically in California and Florida, the avocado has been introduced in 1871.

By the 1950’s, when the fruit became a popular salad item, approximately 25 different varieties of avocado were commercially produced in California, the known avocado capital of the United States.

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