Avocados’ versatility highlighted at Morelia en BocaMORELIA, Mexico — Avocados from Mexico took the opportunity of the Morelia en Boca food festival and exposition to introduce some foodservice professionals from the U.S. to new usage ideas for the fruit.

The Avocados from Mexico booth was one of 50 exhibitors showing off 100 products, said Ruben Hernandez, communications coordinator for Morelia en Boca, which emphasizes food products from Mexico’s Michoacan state.

About 3,000 attendees showed up for the event May 24-26, Hernandez said.

Jackie Bohmer, marketing director for the Mexican Hass Avocados Importers Association, said the expo serves as a good venue to promote one of Michoacan’s leading agricultural products.

In conjunction with the show, Avocados from Mexico enlisted chef Iliana de la Vega, owner of El Naranja restaurant in Austin, Texas, for an interactive cooking and food preparation demonstration of how avocados can be paired with traditional Mexican dishes and seasonings.

De la Vega — a native of Oaxaca, Mexico, and founding member of the Culinary Institute of America’s Latin Cuisines Advisory Council — walked executive chefs and menu development directors from Dallas-based Brinker International, Wheat Ridge, Colo.-based Qdoba Restaurant Corp., Omni Hotels, and Atlanta-based Taco Mac through preparing dishes such as ceviche verde and avocado flan.

Avocados from Mexico also sponsored group dinners at restaurants San Miguelitos, Restaurant Mirasoles, La Mesa de Blanco and Lu Cocina Michoacana, as well as local cuisines sampled during a tour of Pátzcuaro near Morelia.

Food writers from websites www.thegastrognome.com, www.foodarts.com and www.popsugar.com also took part in the tours.