Tuesday 17 October 2017

Did you know an Irishman coined the term 'avocado' but of course it means something very crude

An Irishman is said to have coined the term 'avocado'
An Irishman is said to have coined the term 'avocado'
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

Ireland may be enjoying more avocados than ever before but it turns out one of our own may have been enjoying 'avo on toast' more than 300 years before the rest of us.

Sir Hans Sloan, an Irish-born naturalist, is said to have coined the term 'avocado' in 1696 in his catalogue of Jamaican plants and based the name upon the fruit's interesting shape, which reminded him of a testicle.

Sir Hans Sloan
Sir Hans Sloan

The physician, who studied medicine and botany in London during the 17th century, is believed to have derived the name of the fruit from the Nahuatl word for testicle.

The interesting revelation came to light on Wednesday's episode of RTE's What Are You Eating?, which focused on Ireland's consumption of avocados.

Avocado on toast is Ireland's breakfast obsession in recent years
Avocado on toast is Ireland's breakfast obsession in recent years

The fruit has become something of a regular feature in the diets of Irish people, with larger quantities than ever before being shipped to our island from South America.

While it is often thought that avocado is a healthy option (and it is in the grand scheme of things), many people are unaware of the high calorie content in one large fruit, which can be up to 250kCal.

An Irishman is said to have coined the term 'avocado'
An Irishman is said to have coined the term 'avocado'

Speaking on the programme, dietitian Ruth Charles said: "A whole avocado could contain as much fat as a bar of chocolate but it's all good fat. You're also getting all the nutrients, minerals and vitamins."

What Are You Eating? is broadcast on RTE One on Wednesdays at 8.30pm

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