Neighborhood Kitchens

The Versatile Avocado

By Patricia Alvarado Nuñez

(Patricia Alvarado Nuñez/WGBH)
In the last decade, the buttery and rich avocado has rocketed to superstardom.  That’s no surprise, since research has demonstrated its attributes as a nutrient-dense food,offering arich mix of proteins, minerals and healthy fats.

In Latin America, avocados have always been well regarded. This subtropical fruit has been cultivated for thousands of years in Mexico and Central America.  Mexicans, who seldom eat a meal without them, are the main consumers of avocados worldwide, eating an average of 20 pounds per person per year.


Growing up in Panama, Central America, I remember the avocado tree in the back of our house, which produced huge avocados, at least three or four times the size of the ones found in supermarkets in the U.S.  At home we enjoyed our avocados raw, with a pinch of salt and squirt of lime, or with a spoonful of sugar on top.

The United States is the second largest consumer of avocados in the world, due in part to the growth of the Latino population.  In kitchens across the U.S., you will find avocados used in every imaginable way: in smoothies and shakes, diced on top of salads, in soups, inside sandwiches and burgers, next to seafood, in ice cream, in sushi rolls and dips. Of course they are the primary ingredient in guacamole.

Since I have always admired the qualities of the avocado, I am glad to see chefs featured in Neighborhood Kitchens working the fruit into their own delicious recipes. Try some of these at home:

Have you ever heard of avocado fries? Bristol Lounge’s chef José Gamez shares his popular recipe. 

Chef Leo Romero, owner of Mexican restaurant Casa Romero, prepares a simple ceviche with slices of avocado.

Scampo head chef, Simon Restrepo, creates a king crab mozzarella salad ... with avocado. It's out of this world. 

Cafe Azteca’s Antonio Guerrero prepares sopes, a tasty street snack, with pork, refried beans, sour cream and guacamole.  

Taranta’s chef José Duarte prepares a Maine lobster causa with Peruvian potatoes, aji amarillo, botija olives, tomatoes and avocado.


-- Patricia Alvarado Núñez is the Series Producer of Neighborhood Kitchens.


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About Neighborhood Kitchens

Building on a 35-year history of producing Latino and multicultural programming, WGBH’s award winning La Plaza team has a new offering — Neighborhood Kitchens, a series about the exploration of culture through food. Every week the show offers a unique window into immigrant communities in New England.

Saturdays at 4pm on WGBH 2
Fridays at 7:30pm on WGBH 44

About the Author
Patricia Alvarado Nuñez Patricia Alvarado Nuñez
Patricia Alvarado Nuñez is an award-winning producer creating Latino and multicultural programming  for WGBH and La Plaza. (She cooks, too!)

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In each episode, host Margarita Martínez visits a different ethnic restaurant and learns three delicious recipes from the chef. She also explores the restaurant’s neighborhood, discovering hidden gems along the way. Join her as she learns about new ingredients, new cultures, and new neighborhoods. ¡Hasta pronto!

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Find a Neigbhorhood Kitchen
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Margarita's Neighborhood Visits

»Boston: Bristol Lounge
»Boston's South End: Orinoco, Teranga and Oishii
»Boston's Back Bay: Casa Romero
»Boston's North End: Taranta
»Roxbury: Merengue
»Boston's Beacon Hill: Scampo
»All Around Boston: Mei Mei Street Kitchens
»Cambridge: Muqueca, Oleana, and Sandrine's
Somerville: Dosa Temple
»Lawrence: Cafe Azteca
»Lowell: Simply Khmer

»Fresh from the Fish Market
»Jamaica Plain: Tres Gatos
»Dorchester: Pho Le and Cafe Polonia
»Medford: Bistro 5
»Portland, ME: Emilitsa
»Newport, RI: Tallulah on Thames
»Pawtucket, RI: Rasoi


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