If someone were to ask you what your favorite fruit is, you probably wouldn’t answer “avocado.” But truth be told, the single-seed large berry, as it’s technically classified, is beloved in most parts of the world whether people call it a vegetable or, correctly, a fruit. There’s nothing quite like a ripened avocado, in all its green and golden splendor, sprinkled with a pinch of salt. Indeed, there is enough passion for this fruit that, in 2016, the World Avocado Organization (WAO), led by President & CEO Xavier Equihua, formed to purvey the benefits of eating avocados, including the fact that it counts as a salubrious consumption of mono and polyunsaturated good fats (as opposed to those pesky saturated ones) that assist with the absorption of Vitamins A, D, K, and E.
The consumption of avocados, in other words, aligns with a healthy lifestyle, which the World Avocado Organization has been rightly keen on promoting. And on the weekend of July 12-14, in partnership with the 1886-established San Diego Yacht Club, the WAO did something that was outside of the box yet was, on closer inspection, a natural way to bring attention to the “fruit of life.”
By combining the healthy image of competitive sailing (in a similar vein as the Lipton Cup) with the promotion of the nutrient-rich superfood, the inaugural World Avocado Cup Regatta took off in the San Diego Bay, involving the World Avocado Organization flagship vessel and the sailboats of nine avocado-producing nations: Spain, Mozambique, Colombia, Portugal, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania, Peru, and the USA (represented by California). In what was perfect summertime weather, amid the picturesque backdrop of the San Diego cityscape, each of the country-marked boats, custom-fitted with their own identifiable sails and spinnakers, put in an admirable performance before the conclusion.
Pridefully embracing the opportunity and giving her best on the water was Makaela Wallace, a precocious sailor from Lake Tahoe, CA, who, along with her family, drove down several hours to San Diego to take part in the festivities. At only 12 years of age, Wallace — who began sailing when she was only 6 and racing when she was 8 — has already competed in several countries such as China and Australia. And like many other seafarers throughout the globe, Wallace embodies a passion for healthy living, both in terms of sport and dietary habit, which appeals across all borders.
At the close of the good-natured race, skipper Nico Landauer and brothers Giuseppe and Mario Lanzone of Team Peru held the glorious sterling silver avocado cup high and proud, beginning a tradition that is slated to continue annually. The World Avocado Organization’s boat was runner-up and South Africa came in third. It was a victory not just for the teams that placed, but a united win for delicious avocados, including the multifarious ways in which they can be enjoyed.
In fact, the weekend was just as much about highlighting the unique variability of the verdant-toned and sumptuous fruit as it was about J/22 sailboats racing toward the finish line. The WAO demonstrated to attendees on the evening of Saturday, the 13th, at the San Diego Yacht Club that avocados can be noshed in many more inventive ways besides being eaten in their natural state, in the form of guacamole, as a salad constituent, a sandwich topping, or even a toast enhancer.
For instance, they can be deep fried (i.e., avocado tempura!), turned into a delightful paste spread onto crackers, and be served with fish and shrimp ceviche (scooped right into where the void of the absent pit is). And that’s just for starters, given that for dessert, avocados can be used as inspiration for gelato and ice cream. Not to mention, for those who like to imbibe every now and then, there is the fascinating novelty of the avo beer and the avo margarita. The first has the velvety reassurance of any good ale with the welcomed aftertaste of avocado, and the second, which is garnished with a chili-spice sprinkle around the rim, is a refreshing green-machined journey into a previously undiscovered realm of the palate.
Needless to say, the World Avocado Organization has accomplished something incredible with its first-ever World Avocado Cup Regatta. It has not just brought to the San Diego Bay a collection of nations, who share an affinity for dispersing a wealth of avocados to populations far and wide, but it has also encouraged unique notions about the application of the avocado in all its myriad possibilities. For avocado aficionados, this is undeniably amazing news about their favorite fruit.
For more information about the World Avocado Organization, please visit avocadofruitoflife.com
And for more details about the San Diego Yacht Club, visit sdyc.org