Sicilian Avocados

In recent years, Italy also started to have an avocado-mania.  With its exotic name and delicious flavor, avocado landed on our Italian tables. 

Just pair Avocado 🥑 with 🍅 tomato and mozzarella to obtain a dish with our national colors🇮🇹 and a delicious meal. Even in Italy, a Sunday brunch is not such without an avocado toast.  

The success of this food, however, hides considerable shadows. The enormous amount of water required for its cultivation and the constant demand seriously affect the agricultural areas of the cultivation countries, mainly South America.

Sicily for Avocados

Conceivably it is little known that avocados are cultivated in various regions of southern Italy, including Calabria and Puglia. But of all, Sicily is the region where the avocado found its terrain.

In the Catania area, at the foot of Mount Etna, a microclimate allows the avocado to grow with a reduced water impact, one of the most criticized aspects of this fruit.

“In Giarre (a town located about 275 km (171 mi) southeast of Palermo and around 30 km (19 mi) north of Catania), there are soil and climatic conditions and positive humidity favorable to the harvest of the avocado.

With over 600 milliliters of annual rainfall, it is one of the rainiest areas in Sicily. The volcanic soil on which the plants grow is rich in precious elements for avocado. Therefore, there isn’t a need to fertilize.

In particular, some areas such as the eastern side of Etna, Messina, and Syracuse, where lemons are grown, have proved to be particularly suitable. In this region, it was decided to invest in organic quality and sustainable products. The producers started from abandoned or exhausted land, reclaimed, and converted to this type of production. The trees are then planted about 7 meters from each other to develop and reduce the need for pesticides and other chemical interventions.

Sicilian producers claim that, in these conditions, the choice of organic production is perfectly fitting.

There is a relationship between the food we eat and the health of the planet. Learning to recognize ethical and sustainable alternatives is, therefore, a daily action with global implications that we may want to keep in mind when making our shopping list.

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I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

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