The avocado is a subtropical fruit with origins from central and southern America, where it started being cultivated about 8,000 years ago. The name “avocado” is Spanish and was mainly used to describe the shape of the wrist.
There are many varieties of avocados that grow in subtropical or tropical areas. The avocado flowers are hermaphroditic and pollinated with pollen. Therefore, both the male part and the female part of the flower mature, but in different seasons. This pollination function created the existence of two types of plants of the avocado tree, type A and type B.
Depending on the region and the microclimate conditions, different type of avocados grow. Avocados require fertile soil, mild climatic conditions without frost and the presence of little wind. Such favorable conditions exist in most areas of Crete, especially West Crete such as Chania. The first avocado crops in the region of Crete were established during the 1960s.
It is estimated that almost 90% of the avocados produced in Greece are grown in Crete. Their exceptional flavor and rich nutrients have established the avocados of Chania among the most known in Europe. As a matter of fact, a large proportion of the locally produced avocados is exported to the markets of central and northern Europe.
Avocado, although it is considered as a fruit rather than a vegetable, may fit very well in salads, eaten raw or may be used in other culinary options. It has exceptional health promoting properties, while also having excellent nutritional value.