They’re delicious, they’re nutritious, and now they’re…on blankets! Enjoy these fun avocado facts—some of which will surprise even the most dedicated of devotees—and the truly interesting home-decor items we found to go with them. (Oh, and happy Guacamole Day on September 16!)
1. Avocados Used to Be Called “Alligator Pears”
The brand name of this duvet may be “LAMEjor” but this quirky set is anything but lame. LAMEJOR
In an article published in the journal Nature back in 1920, researchers discuss the history of the bumpy-skinned, pear-shaped delicacy. Irish naturalist Sir Hans Sloane gave many Europeans their first “taste” of the alligator pear from his lengthy descriptions in his “History of Jamaica” (1707–25). And a quarter of a century later, physician and botanist Patrick Browne waxed poetic about its flavor and popularity.
2. Millennials Didn’t Come Up With Avocado Toast—That Was the Aztecs
This is what we call an avo-cutie. Gift this to a pregnant friend and you’ll be the hit of any virtual baby shower. Jellycat
Long before Irish naturalists wrote about the alligator pear, the fruit had been a staple since at least 500 BC in Central and South America and Mexico. The Aztecs prized the deliciously fatty aoacatl, and then when Spanish conquistadors showed up in the 1700s, they did too (and called it aguacate). The fruit eventually gained popularity in California in the early 1900s, with swanky hotels in big cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco paying a whopping $1 each—approximately $25 today!—to import them. (And you thought an extra side of guac at Chipotle was expensive.)
3. The Avocado’s Original Name Also Meant “Testicle”
It’s like a “burrito blanket” only…healthier. (Chic-er too, if you ask us.) Fomoom
As we’ve mentioned, avocados are native to Mexico and Central America. The indigenous Nahua people of the area called avocados āhuacatl, a word that doubled as a slang term for testicle—in the same way “nut” and “ball” do double duty in English. Scholars think it’s probably the shape and appearance of the avocado that invited the comparison and the fact that the fruits also, well, grow in pairs.
4. It’s Possible to Commit Grand Theft Avocado
A resin figurine that has no reason to exist—except to make you happy. Ebros
In 2017, three workers at a major avocado-growing and distribution company in California allegedly began stealing and selling boxes of avocados to customers under the table. Normally boxes of the fruits sold for $50 wholesale, but the trio sold the “hot” boxes for half that. Over the course of several months, the men allegedly stole and sold $300,000 worth of the fruit, according to a report in the LA Times.
5. You Can Dye Clothing Pink with Avocado Pits
Pretty enough to pay $7.99 in shipping for. MKJIH
We mostly know avocados for being green. But their pits contain a milky liquid that, when it hits the air or is boiled in water, turns red. Alpaca wool, dyed pink with avocado seed, has been found in archaeological digs in Chile, according to the New York Times. And early peoples who lived in the area that is now known as Panama were known to use the dye, too. Today, some clothing designers and other makers still use the plant-based dye to produce rosy hues.
6. An Avocado Has More Potassium Than a Banana
Who doesn’t want their own avocado tree? Plus, this little kit makes a cute kitchen table centerpiece while your plant is sprouting. AvoSeedo
When you think of potassium, you think of bananas. (Or is that just us?) But avocados actually pack more of the important mineral that helps regulate your heartbeat, keeps nerves functioning at lightning speed and wards off muscle cramps, than bananas do.
7. It’s the Original Vegan Butter
The more we look at these unrepentantly kitschy curtains, the more we can picture them in our living room. Lunarable
Ask any vegan: Mashed avocado can fill in for butter and other oils on toast, in sandwiches and even in some baking recipes. But today’s herbivores aren’t the first to find similarities between butter and the green stuff, according to a 1934 report on the history of avocados by a horticulturist working for the United States Department of Agriculture. In 1519, Spanish cartographer Martin Fernandez De Encisco described finding, on the northern coast of the continent now known as South America, a fruit with skin like that of an orange and “that which it contains is like butter and is of marvelous flavor, so good and pleasing to the palate that it is a marvelous thing.” We couldn’t agree more: An avocado is a marvelous thing.