The Delightful Dutch Dish

How one can cook oneself back into local reality

The astonishing avocado November 28, 2009

Filed under: fruit,side dish — orangepumpkin @ 11:00

This is not local. I don’t know where avocados are grown, but all I know is, that it isn’t here. When I was a very little girl my mother already used avocados. And because it’s a fun thing to do, we would use the seed to grow an avocado plant. I had it in my room for a considerable time, years really. I even took a picture of it with my camera when I was 11. I was really fond of my view with avocado plant. It was one lanky plant. It tried to be very tall, but it couldn’t, because it was in a pot, which was too small. It had a few leaves, but it never showed any intention to something you might call ‘flower’. But I loved it anyway. And secretly I hoped that one day I would have my own personal stash of avocados, from that very plant.

Alas, it was not to be. After years of struggling with our horrible climate, it died. We buried it among the branches and leaves of local trees. Covered it with manure and that was the end of Mr. Avocado. But not to my addiction to avocados. It only got worse. I love avocado in salad. The whole salad can be as Dutch as anything, but it just isn’t complete without the brilliant buttery flavour of at least one avocado. It has to be in there, or you might as well not eat the salad. But I have also been known to wolf down one whole avocado straight from the skin. You don’t need anything else in life.

I will tell you how I found out that avocados don’t grow in The Netherlands. Well, they grow, but they don’t bearfruit. And that last bit is essential, at least in my life. A while after my avocado plant died, we visited the botanical gardens. They have a huge greenhouse in which they grow all kinds of tropical plants. Fruit bearing banana’s. No, really. They even give you a banana when it’s in season. And I know that banana’s don’t grow in the Netherlands. Well, they do, certain sub species, but I haven’t seen any fruit. And the banana died when there were more than three consecutive days of frost (well, it was three weeks, but who’s counting). But in the greenhouse there was also this big lanky sad looking tree, and I asked what it was. Because it really looked like it was suicidal. Proudly the man said it was an avocado and that it was a big miracle that they had one this big. Unfortunately the greenhouse wasn’t really big enough and no one expected the avocado ever to bear fruit. It was a very hard little plant to grow. All I knew was that it was a good thing my avocado died, he would’ve been so very sad when he found out.

It took me years to finally admit to myself that I would not have one of these great avocado trees in my backyard that would allow me to eat avocados all day. Maybe if I move to some tropical place. But that’s probably not happening either. So, I buy avocados in the supermarket. And I eat them. And I do not feel guilty. At all. Ever.

Well, I do, but only a tad. Because I know that avocados probably come from South America. I’ve only been to South America once. I didn’t see avocado trees, but that might have to do with the fact that I went to an island. A Dutch island.

Anyway, the other day I found avocados in the shop of my local supplier of very local vegetables. They grow them in their own garden. Which is great. But I know that those avocados didn’t come from their garden. They came from South America, or maybe, just maybe, from Spain. But not any closer than that. Despite that knowledge, I bought two avocados. And I will wait until they’re ripe and then, I’ll eat them. Just like that, or maybe I’ll take some time to squeeze some juice from a lemon, grind some pepper and salt and then eat them. But I probably won’t take the time to do much more.

1 avocado (a nicely ripe one)
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt
juice of half a lemon

Cut the avocado in half, use a spoon to remove the delicious fruit from its skin. Use a big kitchen knife to remove the seed as follows: get the tip of the knife in the seed (another piece of the blade will also work just fine). Not too shallow, but not too deep either. Hold the avocado in one hand, wriggle the seed out with the knife. Removing the seed from the knife can be tricky, because the seed can be slippery, hence ‘not too deep’.
Add lemon juice, pepper and salt and serve it just like that.

How local?
Not local at all. I don’t live in Mexico. Only the sea salt could be local, the rest is definitely from someplace else.