Celebrating Hispanic Heritage : The Origins of the Avocado....
Origins of the Avocado
Some researchers believe the origin of Avocados to stem from the Puebla region of Mexico dating back to 10,000 years ago! It’s also believed that Mesoamerican tribes first domesticated the avocado tree (Persea Americana) 5,000 years ago, making the cultivation of avocados as old as the invention of the wheel. Archaeologists in Peru have found domesticated avocado seeds buried with Incan mummies dating back to 750 B.C.
Prior to its domestication, it’s thought the survival of the avocado may have been dependent on the ability of since-extinct large mammals to stomach the fruit’s mildly toxic pit after swallowing the large berry whole. In theory, the seed was ready to sprout by the time it was excreted.
Where did the name Avocado / Aguacate come from?
The fruit got its name from the Aztec Nahuatl word AHUACATL, which means "testicle"? To the Aztec, avocados, which grow in pairs, were symbols of Love and Fertility.
Spanish conquistadores loved the fruit but couldn't pronounce it and changed the Aztec word to a more manageable aguacate, which eventually became avocado in English. The first English-language mention of avocado was by Sir Henry Sloane in 1696.