"¢ Since it's Earth Day we thought we'd bring you something green. Ladies and gentlemen may I present: the avocado!

"¢ The avocado as we know it was originally called ahuacate, the Aztec word for testicle (named for its shape and reputation as an aphrodisiac). After rejecting its common name, Alligator pear, California farmers eventually settled on a more pronounceable and agreeable nomenclature: avocado. Americans continued to, well, Americanize both sushi and the avocado by creating The California Roll.

"¢ The most popular avocados in the United States (accounting for approximately 95% of the total crop volume) are decedents from a mother tree who succumbed to root fungus in 2002 after living a long and healthy life for 76 years. The variety was named after postal worker-turned-avocado grower Rudolph Hass.

"¢ Animal, Vegetable or Mineral? Avocados are considered fruit, are harvested by hand and are "Green on the Outside, Green on the Inside" (apropos for Earth Day!) But that does not mean they are exempt from black market exploits or usage as weaponry.

"¢ Fix up a nice bowl of guac and take a gander at Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death, a film starring Bill Maher and filmed in the avocado groves maintained by the University of California at Riverside where they conduct horticultural experiments. Best part? The movie's keywords: Piranha. Feminist. Avocado.

"¢ Ask not what you can do for your avocado, but what your avocado can do for you: For one, they are known as a home remedy for halitosis, and may even fight against liver damage.

"¢ Avocado consumption in the US supposedly increases dramatically for the Super Bowl (well, some would disagree). Regardless, if you are having trouble finding some of this great green fruit you can train your friendly neighborhood rat to help you.

"¢ Speaking of, probably the most popular incarnation of avocado usage is guacamole. Guns 'n Roses even included it as a backstage requirement (along with porn and cigarettes).

How do you Flossers consume your avocado? Any special recipes or uses to share?

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

"˜Dietribes' appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach. You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.