An avocado festival is a gathering dedicated to the many different culinary uses for this popular and nutritious food item. Many of these festivals present opportunities for chefs to demonstrate their skills and recipe ideas for cooking with avocado. Avocado farmers in some regions will also travel to an avocado festival in order to sell the best of their recent harvests. Festivals are typically held in the late spring to early summer due to the cycles of the avocado growing season, and they often include other attractions such as free music performances and art displays.
Some avocado festivals offer different varieties of the fruit, such as Hass, Reed, and Fuerte avocados. Some smaller scale festivals may have only one of these variations as a result of regional availability. Many growers at an avocado festival specialize in one of these types, and these experienced farmers can be good sources of information for properly selecting and storing avocados. Since these fruits are native to warmer geographic regions in Mexico and parts of the southern United States, early summer travelers to these areas often have several options for attending a local avocado festival.
In addition to buying freshly grown avocados, festival attendees can also sometimes purchase their own avocado seeds and grow them into plants. The seed of an avocado is actually the avocado pit, which will grow into a new plant under the proper conditions. Some growers at festivals sell these pits already set in potting soil, and others instruct interested buyers in how to correctly prepare an avocado pit for planting.
Food and cooking enthusiasts often especially enjoy an avocado festival for the new avocado recipes that they can later try at home. Entrees, salads, side dishes, and even desserts featuring avocado are usually some of the most popular purchases and samplings at festivals. Some featured festival dishes that may sound unusual but can be quite flavorful include avocado ice cream, avocado cream pie, and dehydrated avocado snack chips.
Promoters and vendors at many avocado festivals can also offer plenty of tips and advice on the numerous benefits of including this fruit as part of a healthy regular diet. Avocados are rich sources of nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. They are also known for their amounts of monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to help reduce levels of the harmful blood cholesterol that is frequently linked to heart disease.