Yes, I am a tad militant about certain food choices though I must stress just a tad. Nothing can be that set in stone or expressly forbidden (okay, high-fructose corn syrup) for I like to feed certain vices (like potato chips and commercial ice cream) on the odd certain occasion. There are several foods that end up in my kitchen that could never be sustained locally. Indian mangoes when I can get my clean hands on them are consumed without the least amount guilt. I do use mass transit and bike all around the island I live on and its environs. Citrus fruits are a staple that could never be exercised, and admittedly, they are not always brought north with a geriatric relative winging their way home. And, then there are avocadoes.
This essential fruit/vegetable supplies vitamin rich (high in E and K) goodness all year around but summer is the peak for California’s supply. A South American variant has become the standard for the United States. The slightly squat, browned pebbled skin type commonly referred as a Hass is higher in fat and a bit nuttier than its Caribbean twin the Fuente with its oblong shaping and smooth bright green outer-covering that also gives it the name alligator avocado. This one is lower in fat a bit more fibrous and should be a bit sweeter as well. All avocadoes should have a bit a give when gently pressed to test their ripeness – if unsure I’d wait the day because once you slice them they will cease to ripen. If they are soft store them in the refrigerator to delay its decomposition for 3 to 4 days.
Since visiting the island of Sumatra some years back I have never looked at that green concoction that laced my chips whenever a beer stuck with a lime was present. There on an island bisected by the equator in the Indian Ocean I drink daily an avocado-coconut shake with chocolate – freakin’ delicious and more calories than I have ever had in a sip. Now, the avocado for me is not just to be tossed with a chili and some lime or sliced onto a sandwich but equally available to be pureed into a mousse and presented as the sweeter end of the meal.
Avocado Ice Cream – yields approx 2 quarts
4 egg yolks
2-cups avocado puree (from about 2 large avocadoes)
1/4-cup fresh orange juice
In a 2-quart saucepan bring the milk to just below the boil. Whish the eggs and sugar together in a work bowl until pale yellow. Temper the eggs with the warm milk, and then return the egg mixture to the saucepan, and over a low heat cook the egg/milk stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. Cool the egg mixture completely.
Mix the avocado and orange juice together. Once the egg-milk mixture is completely cooled combine with the avocado puree. Freeze in an ice creamer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.