The Aztecs of the ancient Americas grew the Avocado to make a sauce for their maize tortillas-most likely the first Guacamole. Though Spanish conquerors ate and loved the avocado while in the Americas, the fruit was much too fragile to take back to Europe. It wasn’t introduced to European countries until the 1900s when better methods of storage during shipping were developed. The avocado is now known in Europe, Africa, and Asia by the name of “Alligator Pear.” It gets its name from its pear shape and green, rough skin. The United States, Mexico, and Brazil produce avocados for the world.
The avocado (Persea americana) is a tree, long thought to have originated in South Central Mexico, classified as a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae. Avocado (also alligator pear) refers to the tree’s fruit, which is botanically a large berry containing a single large seed.