I heard today that the International Space Station is about to get a resupply, including 20 pounds of fresh food. A special treat that is being tucked in this time is some fresh avocados.
That reminded me of my trip to the USSR back in the early 90s. We entered and exited the country via Helsinki, where I happened to have a friend from boarding school days in Germany, Raili: she went on to become a principal soprano with the Finnish national opera. We arranged to meet up on my return, and she welcomed me with a bottle of wine and, even better, fresh avocados! It was such a treat to savor that yummy food after a few weeks of Soviet food. (Though granted, we also did quite a bit of camping in Russia, where we foraged for mushrooms and berries and caught fish, so it wasn't all dismal.)
The avocado, or Persea americana, is in the laurel family and is thought to have originated in southern Mexico about 12,000 years ago. The name avocado comes from the Nahuatl word āhuacatl (also meaning "testicle"), which became aguacate in Spanish. Avocado is the state fruit of California, where 90 percent of the domestic crop is grown on some 59,000 acres of land, much of it in San Diego County. We also import from Mexico, Chile, and Peru. The fruit is rich in B vitamins and vitamin K, as well as C, E, and potassium.
Those astronauts are going to be happy campers.