What cuisine comes to mind when you think of avocado? Probably Mexican, right? Although most people associate avocados with Mexico, the green fruit is enjoyed around the world, so let’s take a look at ways other countries incorporate avocado into their dishes.
The avocado ritz, an iconic dish of the 1970s, is making a comeback in South Africa, and no, it doesn’t involve crackers. This scrumptious avocado and shrimp appetizer is easy to make. Simply mix cooked shrimp with mayonnaise, cream, lemon juice, tomato sauce or ketchup, and Tabasco sauce. Cut a ripe avocado in half, remove the pit, scoop the shrimp mix into the avocado, and serve chilled.
In Chile, avocado is known as palta, which derives from the Quechua word pallta. Chileans make an avocado-based appetizer for special occasions called palta reina (avocado queen). Like the avocado ritz, the palta reina consists of half an avocado per person stuffed with shredded chicken, tuna, king crab meat, or chopped ham mixed with mayonnaise, lemon juice, and spices and served on a bed of lettuce. Apio palta is a traditional Chilean salad made with chopped celery and cubed avocado that’s then dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.
Causa limeña is a traditional dish from Perú. It consists of layers of cold mashed yellow potato seasoned with chile and lime juice, mashed avocado, and shredded chicken or tuna mixed with mayonnaise, that’s then topped with mashed potato. Each individual causa is assembled using a metal ring and the back of a spoon to smooth out each layer.
Sopa de aguacate, avocado soup, is very popular in Colombia. Creamy, subtly flavored, and satisfying, this soup is easy to make. Sautée chopped onion and garlic in butter. Add chicken stock, avocado, and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes before mixing the ingredients in the blender. Return to the pot and add heavy cream, cumin, salt, and pepper. Garnish with chopped cilantro and enjoy. Avocado is also popular as a topping for arepas, grilled corn cakes that are a staple of Colombian and Venezuelan cuisine.
Ethiopian spris is a refreshing drink ideal for summer. It consists of layers of pureed fruit: avocado, pineapple, mango, papaya, or any tropical fruit. Layer each fruit puree in a tall glass starting with the avocado because it’s the densest. Add a spritz of lime juice on top.
Crème de abacate is a sweet, delicate treat from Brazil that’s a crowd-pleaser. To make crème de abacate, purée avocado flesh with lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl and blend in sugar and whipping cream with an electric mixer until it achieves a creamy consistency.