Friday night I went to a Dodger's game, compliments of the Chilean Avocado Council. They were rolling out the new "Avodog," a Dodger Dog topped with avocado mashed with a little onion and lime juice, basically a streamlined guacamole. A totally tasty item. I'd never had a Dodger Dog before- I know, hang my head in shame. They're quite delicious on their own, a little skinny but great flavor. Hmmm, that's true for a lot of things in L.A. There's a crisp snap when you bite into them, and they're juicy with a clear meaty flavor and peppery kick. The addition of avocado (Chilean, that is) only makes things better. It's also true to the SoCal experience.
Avocados pop up in the funniest places out here. Sure you find them in salads or on top of the occasional burger, but it's also hard to get a BLT without one ("You meant BLTA, right?"). They guest-star in omelets, shocking when I first moved west, and more than one fine and costly fish entree I've enjoyed has had delicate slivers of avocado dancing across its middle. I even encountered an avocado ice cream once. I couldn't bring myself to order it, but it made me smile.
On the East Coast, avocados are a luxury item reserved for special occasions; back in '96 I believe I bought them for $2 apiece. Ay dios mio. They were hard little rocks too, hardly any buttery goodness to be had. When I moved to San Francisco I was blown away by the avocado trees. They're huge with wide rounded leaves the same color as the fruit, and my god there are thousands of them hidden amongst the branches. Ok not thousands, but a lot. We have many varieties here: Fuerte, Pinkerton, Gwen, though 95% of what's grown commercially are the lovely Hass (sometimes spelled Haas).
I have no idea if there's a state fruit, but if not I vote for nature's butter, the deep green, teardrop-shaped nirvana on a plate.
Mmmm, and try an Avodog if you're at Dodger Stadium. Not just because the nice Avopeople took me out and treated me well- those dogs are truly Avolicious.
I'll stop now.