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Indonesian avocados generally have bright green skin that will stay green even as the fruit matures, though some varieties will ripen to a dark purple. They come in different shapes and sizes, varying from round to elongated or pear-shaped, and weighing as much as a pound and a half. The flesh ranges from bright to pale yellow or yellow-green, and houses a rather large central seed. The flesh may be thick, creamy, rich in oil, and nutty with notes of hazelnut like the Butter avocado, or firm, mildly sweet, and somewhat watery with tropical flavor notes, characteristic of many green-skinned avocado varieties.
Indonesian avocados are available year-round, with a peak season in the fall and winter months.
Avocados are members of the Lauraceae, or Laurel, family. They are scientifically named Persea americana Mill., and are botanically classified as a berry. Avocados are referred to as "butter fruit" throughout much of Asia, and are called alpukat in Indonesia, where they are grown mostly in low-elevation tropical regions, notably on the island of Java. Avocados are also categorized as West Indian, Guatemalan, or Mexican. Indonesian avocado varieties with larger fruit size and green skin are thought to be derived from the West Indian race, while the smaller, darker varieties are from the Mexican race and its natural hybrids. Furthermore, Indonesian avocados are more generally delegated into two groups: the butter types, which have creamy flesh and are rich in healthy fats, and the milk types, which have thin flesh and lower oil content.
Avocados are rich in dietary fiber, and are known for being a good source of monounsaturated fat. They also contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, and folic acid. Avocados have earned the nickname “nutrient-boosters” because they enable the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients of other foods consumed at the same time.
Indonesian avocados are most often used raw, though they can be used in shorter cooked applications. Green-skinned varieties with firmer flesh are best suited for slicing and cubing as they hold their shape, while creamier varieties can be mashed without resulting in a watery texture. Indonesian avocados are often paired with tropical fruits like jackfruit, coconut and papaya, and they also pair well with citrus, tomatoes, fresh herbs, nuts, olive oil, meats and seafood. Indonesian avocados are commonly used for a sweet milkshake-style drink called es alpukat, translated as “ice avocado”, which is generally made with avocado, coffee and/or chocolate syrup, and sweetened condensed milk blended with ice, or mixed and served over ice. Variations of this smoothie-like beverage may also be called jus alpukat, which translates as “avocado juice”. Store Indonesian avocados at room temperature until fully mature. Whole, ripe avocados will keep for two to three days in the refrigerator, while cut avocados will keep for a day or two.
In 1982, Murniati Widjaja won a competition to come up with a national drink for Indonesia by creating a sweet, milky non-alcoholic cocktail made with avocado, jackfruit, coconut meat, condensed milk, and grass jelly, called “es teler”. The name translates to “drunk ice”, and one legend claims that the bartender was intoxicated when he accidently added the ingredients together to create the famous drink. This avocado fruit cocktail inspired a food stall franchise called Es Teler 77, which has since become a standard fast food restaurant across Indonesia and Southeast Asia, serving up the popular avocado drink among other Indonesian specialties.
Avocados are native to Mexico and Central America, dating back thousands of years before the Common Era. Spanish explorers and merchants introduced the avocado to Indonesia in 1750, and it since spread throughout the Indonesian archipelago. Up until the late 1900s, avocados were mainly grown in home gardens, but today, Indonesia is the fifth largest producer of avocados in the world, with Mexico claiming the top spot.
Recipes that include Indonesian Avocados. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Thyme & Love||Jackfruit Tinga Tostadas|
|Yogi Approved||Creamy Coffee Avocado Breakfast Smoothie|
|The Vegan Harvest||BBQ Jackfruit Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa|