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Chefs Nationwide Are Adding Chilean Hass Avocados to Fall and Winter Menus When the Fruit is at Its Peak.

Chilean Hass Avocado Season Has Begun

WASHINGTON -- The Chilean Avocado Importers Association announced today that the first Hass avocado shipment of the season has arrived from Chile and is being delivered to supermarkets and restaurants nationwide. Chilean Hass avocados are at their peak during fall and winter when avocado production in the United States is at its lowest volume. More than 265 million pounds of Chilean Hass avocados are expected to be shipped to the U.S. during the 2006-2007 season, which runs from September until March.

Because of high quality imports from Chile, Hass avocados are available in the U.S. year-round.

Since avocados are not traditionally associated with fall and winter cuisine in the U.S., leading chefs have developed a collection of new recipes that showcase delicious and easy ways to enjoy Hass avocados in the cooler months:

* Chef Gabriel Frasca of The Straight Wharf on Nantucket, Massachusetts recommends enjoying avocado in a gourmet bluefish club sandwich with bacon and arugula.

* Chef Benjamin Gonzales of Nuestra Cocina restaurant in Portland, Ore. suggests a spicy avocado sauce to top seared Oregon Ling Cod.

* Bradford Thompson, Chef de Cuisine for Mary Elaine's at the Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona presents a creamy avocado soup.

* Chef Raphael Lunetta of JiRaffe in Los Angeles offers a recipe for grilled tiger shrimp topped with a creamy avocado mousse.

* Chef Tre Wilcox of Abacus in Dallas suggests enjoying yellowtail tartare with fresh avocado.

According to Chef Gabriel Frasca, winner of the "Best Up and Coming Chef" award by Boston magazine and recognized as a "chef on the fast track" by Food & Wine, a year-round supply of fresh Hass avocados provides chefs with a variety of additional ways to add great color and flavor to their menus throughout the year.

"Once fall arrives, the bounty of fresh ingredients quickly narrows to a short list so the availability of Chilean Hass avocados during fall and winter is not only a luxury, but a culinary lifesaver, providing everyone with a fun and easy way to add a colorful twist to their culinary routine," said Frasca.

Avocados are best known as the main ingredient in guacamole; however, the fruit is highly versatile. Topping a breakfast egg dish with diced avocado adds creamy texture and avocado slices on top of a pizza create an unexpected and delicious surprise.

The Hass avocado variety is identified by its dark, pebbly skin that turns from green to almost black when ripe. Inside, the flesh is pale green with a creamy texture.

Hass avocados provide more than 25 essential nutrients, including potassium, vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid.

Chilean Hass Avocado and Bluefish Club Sandwich by Chef Gabriel Frasca

Ingredients:

* 4 small, fresh, de-boned bluefish filets (approx 4 oz. each)

* 1 loaf Portuguese sweet bread (or challah or brioche)

* 1 bunch arugula, washed and dried

* 8 pieces smoked bacon, crisped and warm

* 1/2 red onion sliced lengthwise

* 1 ripe tomato, sliced and seasoned with salt & pepper

* 2 ripe Chilean Hass avocados, halved and sliced into 6 slices, seasoned with salt & pepper

* 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise

* 16 toothpicks

* juice of one lemon

Instructions:

* Preheat a broiler

* Place the bluefish on a lightly-oiled cookie tin; season with salt and pepper

* Place under the broiler until it is just cooked through (approx. five minutes)

* While the bluefish is cooking, toast 12 slices of bread (enough for four sandwiches)

* When the bluefish is cooked, sprinkle it with lemon juice

* Working quickly, spread mayonnaise on one side of eight slices of bread

* On four of those slices, place one piece of bluefish, a few slices of red onion and two pieces of bacon

* On the remaining four pieces of bread with mayonnaise, spread half of a sliced avocado, add a few leaves of arugula and one slice of tomato

* Top with the remaining bread, stick a toothpick in the center of each quarter of the sandwiches, and then cut it into four even pieces. Enjoy while still warm

Visit www.chileanavocado.org to view this and other Chilean Hass avocado recipes.

About the Chilean Avocado Importers Association (CAIA)

The Chilean Avocado Importers Association is composed of Chilean avocado importers, exporters and producers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Association's main objective is to conduct market development activities and promotions to increase the consumption of Chilean Hass avocados in the United States. Established in 2002, CAIA operates under the guidelines of the Hass Avocado Promotion, Research and Information Order.

Editors' Note: For images and more information about Chilean Hass avocados, please contact Katie Dean at 949-223-2350/katie.dean@hillandknowlton.com or Kendall Schwartz at 310-633-9491/kendall.schwartz@hillandknowlton.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
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Date:Oct 19, 2006
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