Last updateFri, 15 Nov 2019 12pm


Hankering for green gold

The cost of avocados in local markets has skyrocketed over the last couple of months.

pg13aThe best price I found this week was a mind-boggling 90 pesos per kilo. That’s not counting produce discount day at Walmart when the going rate was 59 pesos. I got suckered into that “deal” the week before, but the precious alligator pears didn’t ripen properly and ended up in the compost heap.

I don’t know how other aguacate freaks are coping with the situation, but I’m definitely going through a serious bout of guacamole withdrawal. Not to mention the sacrifice of sliced avocado adding a delectable touch to tacos, sandwiches, salads or a juicy burger. I’ve discarded all thoughts of whipping up a pot of Sopa Tarasca, a hearty bean soup that just doesn’t cut it without its avocado garnish.

Aguacate is recognized as Mexico’s green gold. The country is the world’s number one producer of the exotic taste treat, to the tune of more than a million and a half tons per year. But at the moment it’s a scarce and costly commodity. Why? Market analysts explain that we’re in the off-season for harvesting that runs from late April into July.   

Ok, I get that. But explain to me why international news media report that consumers in Europe are paying lower prices than we find on the home front. And after all, about 85 percent of the nation’s avocado production is concentrated in Michoacán, our neighboring state.

Economists swear that the in-country price hike is not related to the threat of a pending trade war with the United States or the migrant crisis going on at the border. I’m not one to give credence to conspiracy theories, but something’s going on that raises suspicion.

The avocado is hailed as a food that’s coveted for its health benefits. It is loaded with fiber, minerals, vitamins and heart-friendly monounsaturated fatty acids. It contains more potassium than a banana. But at this point, I could care less about all that stuff. It’s not sinking my teeth into one that’s got me down.

The craving for that delicate taste and creamy texture mounts day by day. Tranquil sleep hours are disturbed by aguacate dreams bordering on the erotic.

The only solace is that July is just around the corner, lending hope for the prompt arrival of a new harvest season and the return of reasonable prices.  In the meantime, what to do?

Well, the fridge is stocked with guacamole flavored mayo that I’ve been slathering on snacks that aren’t quite right without an avocado boost. It’s a poor substitute, but better than nothing.

Another option is to gorge on other things that provide similar taste thrills. Maybe fat, juicy mangoes, plentiful in the market place these days, could help quell the yearnings. Assorted berries from local fields might also do in a pinch.

Alas. Attempts at this sort of auto-brainwashing aren’t working. I’m hopelessly hooked on avocado and need a fix.