Janisa is an expat in Brazil. She discovering new foods, immersing herself in the local culture, and helping fellow expats.
Guacamole in the Form of a Salad
Living in Brazil
Living in Brazil sure is different from living in North America. In addition to discovering a number of cultural differences (I was expecting this), I also encountered a lot of food differences. And I'm not talking about the dishes people traditionally make at home or popular street foods. Even supermarkets, places that are supposed to sell commercialized foods that are available everywhere, are different. For example, most people buy milk that doesn't require refrigeration prior to being opened and one really needs to search for 'real' milk. Finding a completely natural yoghurt has proven to be impossible. On the other hand, produce is abundant here, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables that North Americans would consider to be exotic. For example, during the Brazilian Spring season (from September to December), green coconuts are in season and you can buy one for a mere 2 BRL (around 50 US cents).
The avocado season is in the late fall to early winter (May to June) and during this time, avocados are extremely abundant in the south of Brazil, so if you're lucky to find an avocado tree that isn't on private property, you get to eat them for free. Otherwise, during the high season, supermarkets sell avocados for around R$1.50-R$1.99 per kilogram, which is a great deal, compared with their price during other times of year, which can be as high as almost R$10 per kilogram during some months. And the Brazilian avocados are different from the ones we have in North America; these ones are really huge and one avocado on average weighs around 350-450 grams.
Getting Creative When There Wasn't Much to Choose From
At the time when I first published this article, in early June of 2018, Brazil was experiencing a nationwide trucker strike against rising iesel prices. The strike began on May 21 and after a couple of weeks, many stores in the region began to experience a shortage of prducts, in particular perishable goods such as dairy, meat and produce. And as for the products that were still available, customers weren't permitted to buy them in large quantities. And of course it's worth mentioning that prices for staple items doubled and in some cases tripled in these three weeks or so. In addition, gas stations closed, hospitals began running low on supplies and households ran low on gas (the majority of Brazilian households do not have electric stoves).
Thankfully for my family, we still had a large amount of non-perishable goods at home and an avocado tree in the backyard. We also grow our own tomatoes and some herbs. In addition, since Brazil is a tropical country, it isn't uncommon to find fruit trees in the wild. For example, I have already seen a number of lime trees in forests. This combination of available fruits and vegetables was what reminded me of a salad I used to make occasionally while living in Canada. Since avocados tend to be quite pricey in Canada, I only made the salad a couple of times per year. Last year in Brazil, however, I made this salad literally every day over the course of 3 weeks and everybody loved it!
Why Avocado and Tomato Salad?
This particular combination is not very common in Brazil. Here, people tend to think of avocados as fruits and avocado ice cream and smoothies are a summer favorite.
Read More From Delishably
Brazilians of course know what guacamole is, so that is what I originally planned to make, but I wanted to make use of our homegrown tomatoes. Also, tortilla chips ran out at the local store and dipping bread into guacamole just isn't the same thing. The lime juice in the salad gives it a nice tropical twist and the Brazilians I offered this salad to discovered that tomatoes and avocadoes actually do go well together!
Prep time: 10-15 minutes, depending on your vegetable chopping skills
Serves: 4 people if served as a side; 2 people if eaten as a main dish
I also added some herbs because they were there, but these are totally optional.
- 3 regular-sized tomatoes (whatever regular means to you)
- 2 average avocados - the avocados grown here are enormous, much larger than anything I've seen before, so I just used one.
- Juice of 1 lime - limes are the regular 'lemons' in Brazil, so they are used for all recipes that require a dash of sour. Yellow lemons also exist, but they are less common and cost around 3 times more.
- 2-3 garlic cloves -use less if you don't like the taste of garlic (or skip this ingredient)
- 6 tbsp olive oil - add more to taste
- salt & pepper- these are always added to taste
- green onion - completely optional, but I find it goes well with this salad
- parsley - same thing as the green onion
Share Your Preferences
- Chop all the ingredients that need to be chopped. Chop the garlic into very small pieces, the smaller the better, unless you want your salad to have a strong garlic taste. Dice the tomatoes and avocado(s), the size of the pieces depends on your preference. Chop the herbs as well.
- Add everything to a medium sized bowl.
- Squeeze your lime or use a juicer. Make sure that the seeds don't fall into the salad.
- Add the olive oil and salt.
- Stir well.
- Serve and enjoy! Goes well with bread - we ate it with French bread.
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© 2018 Janisa