I was expecting something more exotic


I love going to the market in foreign countries, especially tropical ones to examine the huge variety of fruits and vegetables that I have never seen before. I love trying new flavors and investigating odd looking species of plants. So there I was with Elson yesterday, helping him with the grocery shopping and asking about all the names of things I didn’t recognize. We got to one fruit that was quite round with a dark green skin and about one and a half times the size of a softball. I asked what it was and he said (what sounded like) “abacahsh”. Since this sounded so similar to “abacaxi” (pronounced “abacahshee”) which means pinapple, I assumed that this tropical marvel was in the same family, but something I had never tried before. So with the help of a kindly grandmother next to us, we picked out a ripe one and brought it back to Elson’s. This morning I excitedly went to cut it open for breakfast and realized to my slight horror upon bisecting it that this was nothing other than the lowly avocato (albeit much larger and a different shape).  Crestfallen, I put it back in the fridge and told Elson he could make a monster salad with it one day soon.


  1. Walter says:

    If my memory doesn’t betray me, in Brazil avocado is often eaten as a sweet treat, sometimes mixed with banana.

  2. Stephen, I think that all Americans in Brazil are doomed to repeat the same experiences. I can vividly recall going to a juice bar on Rua Frei Caneca in the summer of 2001 to ask for a pinapple juice. I was surprised, then, with this thick, green sludge in a glass arrived on the counter. I was skeptical but tried it, and liked it! Sweet, fatty, and nourishing–what was this mystery pinapple? I returned another time and asked for the same, only to get actual pinapple juice. A close scrutiny of the menu [abacaxi and abacate are, after all, right next to eachother] and a dictionary eventually cleared me up.