That's No Moon...

Here in Roger's Park, we are surrounded by diversity on a daily basis. Within walking distance of our condo there are two Hispanic grocery stores, an international market, and two Hispanic bakeries offering specialty products that cannot be found at our local mega mart. I occasionally frequent them when I am looking for Mexican chocolate, chipotle chiles, cotija cheese, fresh rolls for Cuban sandwiches, or when we discover half-way through cooking a meal that we are out of onions and don't want to get in the car to drive to the store. What I have never seen at these purveyors of all things Latin-American is an avocado other than the standard Hass varietal that you can buy all over the Midwest.

Recently, however, we became the beneficiaries of some generosity from our family friends, the same family whose garden-fresh tomatoes we turned into homemade pasta sauce back in September. They had a bumper crop of avocados from a tree at their summer home in Florida, and they decided to share the spoils with us. At first glimpse, I thought they were mistaken, and had, in fact, given us some green papayas -- they were huge!

I had never seen an avocado that big before in my life. Each one was easily 4-5 times the size of a Hass, and would be sufficient to make an entire batch of guacamole on their own. I tried to figure out what to do with them while we waited for them to ripen, but they never changed color, like a Hass. Instead, we decided it was finally time to cut them open when they started to get squishy, which proved to be the right decision.

Just look at how it dwarfs my hand!

Cutting into the fruit, I half-expected it to actually be a papaya on the inside, but it was, in fact, just a gigantic avocado. The pit alone was the size of a regular Hass avocado. In light of the fact that I don't like, and don't eat avocados, Justin was going to have a big task ahead of him.

Initially, I had planned to use the avocados as a garnish for tacos, but there was so much of it that we had to hastily throw together a batch of guacamole just to keep it fresher in the fridge for longer. It was a humbling moment.

Justin says the avocado was better than the ones we usually get at the grocery store, which seems fairly par for the course for home-grown produce. We can only hope that we'll be the recipients of our friends' gratitude again in the future, ideally right before we are ready to host a big party...

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