When news broke earlier this year that there was a national avocado shortage, there was a collective wellness-community gasp of horror.
But it’s also kind of a quirky food. Its rough skin bears an uncanny resemblance to that of a reptile (thus the nickname “alligator pear”), and the round, hefty seed in the middle sparked an internet-breaking debate this year on whether you’re supposed to eat it or not.
Now, a new article from Lucky Peach just brought to light more eyebrow-raising facts about the buttery green—so keep these in mind next time you’re in the produce aisle, expertly picking the perfect avocado.
Read on for five things even the most avo-loving eater probably doesn’t know about the good-for-you fruit.
1. They can get a sunburn, too.
When overexposed to sunlight, burnt spots of skin peel away and the outermost flesh becomes rancid. (Since there’s no avo-SPF. Yet.)
2. The most nutritious part of the avocado is the dark green flesh that’s closest to the skin.
If you peel off the skin rather than scoop the flesh around the seed, you’ll reportedly get the most phytonutrients.
3. Avocados are actually a single-seeded berry.
Whip this one out at your next holiday party (while you’re toasting avo-cocktails)—it’s excellent #fitfamily small talk.
4. You won’t believe where they got their name.
The word avocado is derived from the Aztec word for “testicle,” ahuacatl, because of their reported aphrodisiac qualities.
5. Though avocados mature on the tree, they only ripen once they’re picked.
Ripening takes anywhere from a few days to two weeks, and then they’ll keep for seven to 10 days if refrigerated.
Looking for recipe inspo? These are six delicious ways to include avocados in your holiday meal. And here’s a protein-packed vegan snack featuring the superfood that a triathlon-loving chef swears by.