Friday 20 July 2018

The holy grail of avocados - stoneless - hits shops for a limited time only

The cocktail avocado is grown in Spain. Photo: Marks and Spencer
The cocktail avocado is grown in Spain. Photo: Marks and Spencer

Josie Clarke

Marks and Spencer is selling a stoneless avocado that could - temporarily - give the country's accident and emergency departments a break from so-called "avocado hand".

The cocktail avocado is grown in Spain and is only available in December, when it is usually sent to the Parisian food markets and snapped up by top-end restaurants.

M&S said it had secured "some" of the elongated fruit, which measures just five to eight centimetres long but is entirely edible, including the skin.

The cocktail avocado is the result of an unpollinated blossom. The avocado develops without a seed which in turns stops the growth.

It follows the success of the mini and giant avocados sold by the retailer last year.

Earlier this year plastic surgeon Simon Eccles suggested that avocados should carry warning labels following a rise in the number of knife injuries from cutting into the fruit.

Mr Eccles, honorary secretary of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said he treated about four patients a week at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for wounds caused by an avocado accident, with staff dubbing the injury "avocado hand".

M&S agronomist Charlotte Curtis said: "We've had the mini, the giant, ready sliced and we're now launching the holy grail of avocados - stoneless.

"This amazing fruit has been on our radar for a couple of years and we're very excited to have finally been able to get hold of some for our customers to try.

"We know they will be in demand and we've only been able to get our hands on a limited amount so make sure you get them while you can."

She added: "They're perfect for snacking and lunchboxes as they can be eaten whole but can also be used for a beautiful garnish or in a salad. My top tip is to try them deep fried."

M&S first introduced the fruit in 1968 as an avocado pear, which customers enjoyed as a dessert with custard.

Avocados are packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, vitamin K, folate and antioxidants and contain more potassium per gram than bananas.

They are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which can help to lower cholesterol and improve heart health, and can be good for weight loss as they release slow burning energy, reducing hunger.

Cocktail Avocados are available in selected M&S stores for £2 per pack.

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