New Zealand: Avocado
By Matthew Fennell, Contributing Writer
Avocados have recently established themselves as one of the world’s health foods, carrying nutritional benefits through their array of vitamins and minerals. Although the avocado tree is native to Mexico and Central America, the fruit is cultivated in many countries throughout the world. The Korea Center caught up with New Zealand Avocado Growers' Association (NZAGA) to find out what makes New Zealand such an ideal environment for growing and for a simple recipe that we can all follow at home to get the best out of the fruit.
The New Zealand avocado industry may be the ninth largest exporter of avocados in the world, but it has a great reputation for its quality and systems. The country is famed for its natural beauty and clean environment and Jen Scoular, CEO of New Zealand Avocado, believes that this is why New Zealand avocados taste so good. “The growers take the extra time to nurture their avocados on the tree and only harvest when the taste and quality of each avocado reaches its best. They are also produced in a pristine environment with clean air, fresh water and plenty of warm sunlight”. Avocados are a healthy and versatile wholefood as you can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner or make snacks and desserts with them.
One popular use for the fruit is indulging in an avocado smoothie for breakfast as they are a great way to start each day; healthy and have the good fats our bodies need. When we are busy, healthy eating can be a challenge and the simplicity of the avocado is another reason why it has become so popular. Alongside the smoothie, a breakfast favorite for people living in New Zealand is avocado mashed on toasted grain bread and seasoned with salt and pepper – adding sliced tomato of crumbled feta cheese is also very popular and adds great flavor.
The New Zealand Avocado Growers' Association hopes that Koreans will learn about the health and taste of avocados so they can add the fruit into their daily diet. Avocados are the third-largest fresh fruit export from New Zealand with 1350 avocado growers, based mainly in the Bay of Plenty and Northland. The avocado is a nutrient dense fruit with potential health benefits for all age groups. From expectant mothers and babies to everyone interested in watching their weight and maintaining a healthy heart, avocados are an energy packed super food.
RECIPE: Classic New Zealand Avocado on Toast
Prep time: 5 minutes
• 2 pieces of grain toast
• Flesh of ½ a soft ripe New Zealand avocado
• ½ a lemon
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Tomato - optional
• Toast bread
• Lay toast on chopping board
• Cut avocado in half lengthways and twist to separate the two halves. Take the half of the avocado with the stone still in it. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the flesh and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for use by the next day.
• Take the half without the stone and cut in half lengthways and peel the skin off
• Place the two pieces of avocado onto the two pieces of toast, take a fork and mash the avocado onto the toast, spreading it to the edges with a knife.
• Season with a little lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
• If you enjoy tomato then add thin slides to the top.