10 Things You Didn't Know About Avocados (Slideshow)

What’s in a Name?

Another name for the Hass avocado is the Alligator Pear because of its bumpy, green skin and pear shape. 

Like Butter

Avocados were used as a spread instead of butter when European sailors traveled to the New World. Learning from the past, avocados are a healthy alternative to butter, mayonnaise, sour cream, and cream cheese.  


Cuteness Factor

Avocados don't self-pollinate; they need another avocado tree close by to produce fruit. The avocado is an Aztec symbol of love and fertility and they only grow in pairs.

Party Time

During the Super Bowl, there are more than 8 million pounds of avocados eaten across America. And during Cinco de Mayo, there are about 14 million pounds eaten. 

Avocados Don’t Ripen on Trees

To ripen, they have to be plucked from trees. To help ripen an avocado, place it in a brown bag and keep in a cool spot for two to three days. 


Avocados can be used as an ingredient in desserts. In Brazil, avocados are a popular ingredient for ice creams and in the Philippines they purée avocados with sugar and milk for a dessert drink. 


Avocados are the size of a baby in the womb at 16 weeks and are also a healthy snack for babies and children. 

Popular Variety

The most popular avocado is the Hass variety, named after mailman Rudolph Hass from La Habra Heights, Calif. He patented his tree in 1935. 


Avocados used to be served only to royalty and were a symbol of wealth. Now, you can enjoy them anytime!

Squeeze Test

You can judge when an avocado is ready to eat by squeezing it. Color alone does not indicate if an avocado is ripe. Hold the fruit in your palm and then gently squeeze, being careful not to bruise the fruit. It should be firm, but give to gentle pressure.