By Tracy López
Growing up during the 1980′s I don’t think I knew what an avocado was, and I never saw one in our gringo household. As I got older, I knew them in the form of guacamole at Mexican restaurants and the little green triangle in my California roll, but that was the extent of my relationship with the dark pear-shaped fruit …until I met Carlos.
Suddenly I had actual avocados on my countertop next to the bananas and apples. I would watch Carlos cut them open, slicing through the alligator-like flesh to reveal the creamy chartreuse-colored insides. Carlos grew up with avocados – in tortillas with queso, in pan frances, and atop sopa de frijoles.
The world’s first avocado was grown and cultivated in Mexico and it’s the only place in the world where avocado trees naturally bloom four times a year.
One of the things Carlos missed most when he came to the United States were the Salvadoran “tortas” (sandwiches), he used to buy in the streets when he was younger. In El Salvador the street vendors and food stalls would toast french bread on a grill, and then stuff it full of ham, mayonnaise, queso and avocado.
Recreating these tortas with basic ingredients we usually have on hand is a simple way for Carlos to enjoy something he loves and to share a part of his culture with our children. Here’s the recipe below. Have your own avocado recipe? Visit the Avocados from Mexico site and then submit your recipes to their fan recipe page. (Recetas en español, aquí!)
Carlos’s Avocado Sandwich
1 avocado from Mexico, cut open and sliced
3 slices of deli ham
2 pieces toasted sandwich bread
fresh Parmesan cheese
1. Spread mayonnaise on both pieces of toast.
2. On one piece of toast, place the ham, and on top of the ham, place a few slices of avocado.
3. Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese.
4. Place the other piece of toast on top and serve.
Tracy López is a writer living outside the DC metro area and founder of Latinaish.com