alligator pears

In the latest and exceptional book about Ernest Hemingway, “Hemingway’s Boat”, by Paul Hendrickson, I took (rather large) notice of a minor mention because it had to do with my favorite fruit, the Avocado. Hemingway’s name for it was alligator pear and  I love it even more now. 

Hemingway picked his alligator pears fresh off the hillsides near his home in Cuba and often enjoyed it as a first course while fishing in the blue seas off Key West and Cuba on Pilar, his beloved boat.

My favorite ways to eat an Avocado include sliced in a sandwich, dressed with sea salt and olive oil, mixed into salads, and smashed for guacamole. I probably have been caught peeling and devouring it like an apple, too. The book  – which deserves a separate post and is not about Avocados, but a deep, thoughtful, well researched book offering a different look at Hemingway through the incredible, obscure stories of  a few men lucky enough to cross paths with him –  describes how Hemingway ate his alligator pears. Simple & straightforward. (Of course.) But more delicious sounding than any method I’ve tried.

Cut  in half.

Take out seed.

Pour a puddle of vinaigrette dressing inside the seed cavity.

Scoop out the flesh with a spoon or fork.

Enjoy. Mmmmm.

(Salt air, blue seas and a cold beer recommended, but not necessary.)

You can read the NY Times review of recent Hemingway books including  “Hemingway’s Boat” here.


7 responses to “alligator pears

  1. Mmmmm, delicioso!! 🙂 I had a huge avocado tree in my yard when I lived in Santa Barbara. My roommate and I filled big brown paper bags full of them, shared them with neighbors, and made avocados part of almost every meal! I loooove them.

    By the way, I’m making my way up to the Bay two weekends from now, let me know if you’re up for a nice cup of tea. 🙂

    • would love it! (dec 4 gone but should be around dec 3) . send me an email when you know your schedule and where you’ll be staying. you are welcome here or we could figure out where makes sense. (We are about an hour from the east bay. ) hope the visit is going well so far!

  2. Sounds good, will email you soon! The 3rd is looking like a good option. I’ll be staying in the North Bay as well, maybe that will work out better for us. Can’t wait! : )

  3. I just got the Hemingway book and can’t wait to read it. Another great way to eat avocados is to mash them with some lemon juice, salt and pepper and spread the mixture on toasted wheat bread. Delicious.

    • enjoy the book! I found it so interesting, hard to put down, and a bit sad (and wiped) when I was done. the fishing details were a bit more than I needed, but other than that, I felt it was so well researched/written/felt with strange and interesting twists and turns. I am also realizing that I’m not of the generation when it was PC to loathe hemingway, so maybe I enter this story with more compassion than others might….perhaps.

  4. Among many other foods, I discovered avocado only when I moved to the US. Never saw it in Romania, until I left the country. I love them too, but the only problem I see is that I cannot find too many recipes with them… and the “alligator pears” nickname is simply great, what a creative idea!

    • hope you can get your hands on one and try out this simple and easy way to eat it! they really are great with mexican food which is one of the more common food to find in california…but not so easy to find elsewhere (or at least authentic mexican food.)

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