By RACHEL LAPIDOS www.wellandgood.com
When news broke earlier this year that there was a national avocado shortage, there was a collective wellness-community gasp of horror.
But it’s also kind of a quirky food. Its rough skin bears an uncanny resemblance to that of a reptile (thus the nickname “alligator pear”), and the round, hefty seed in the middle sparked an internet-breaking debate this year on whether you’re supposed to eat it or not.
Now, a new article from Lucky Peach just brought to light more eyebrow-raising facts about the buttery green—so keep these in mind next time you’re in the produce aisle, expertly picking the perfect avocado.
1. They can get a sunburn, too.
When overexposed to sunlight, burnt spots of skin peel away and the outermost flesh becomes rancid. (Since there’s no avo-SPF. Yet.)
2. The most nutritious part of the avocado is the dark green flesh that’s closest to the skin.
If you peel off the skin rather than scoop the flesh around the seed, you’ll reportedly get the most phytonutrients.
3. Avocados are actually a single-seeded berry.
Whip this one out at your next holiday party (while you’re toasting avo-cocktails)—it’s excellent #fitfamily small talk.
4. You won’t believe where they got their name.
The word avocado is derived from the Aztec word for “testicle,” ahuacatl, because of their reported aphrodisiac qualities.
5. Though avocados mature on the tree, they only ripen once they’re picked.
Ripening takes anywhere from a few days to two weeks, and then they’ll keep for seven to 10 days if refrigerated.