World crop capitals?

The post a couple of days back about horseradish got me thinking about the whole “Capital of the World” thing. And of course it turns out Wikipedia has a long list of cities that call themselves the world capital of something or other. Here are the ones for crops (and one domesticated animal):

You’ll notice something of a disagreement over horseradish! Anyway, unsurprisingly perhaps, most of these places are in the US, and indeed California. So I was thinking: what would be the real Avocado Capital of the World, for example? I would vote for Antigua in Guatemala, where a couple of important varieties originated. The California Avocado Society (I think) put a plaque in the central plaza some years back commemorating the contribution of the area to the California avocado industry. The famous plant explorer Wilson Popenoe had a house there. Here’s a history of the avocado. And here’s an interesting account of avocado collecting in Guatemala. Any other ideas? What would naming a city a world capital for a crop do for the conservation of that crop?

11 Replies to “World crop capitals?”

  1. Whoa whoa….I’m sorry, but you may have to do some revisions to that list. Ponchatoula, Louisiana is the strawberry capital of the world. As a matter of fact, this past weekend’s strawberry festival is the only one I make an effort to attend, regardless of the number of hours it takes to get there. Until you visit Ponchatoula, I’d advise not jumping to the conclusion that the strawberry capital “has to be in California.”

  2. I have to agree with Luigi. I just went to the Ponchatoula strawberry fest and it is, indeed, the strawberry fest. of the world!!

  3. I’m sorry to say but the world avocado capital is in the state Michoacan, Mexico. Its a little town called Tancitaro, they even have a huge monument that they are so. The provide Japan with hass avocados that don’t even fit in your hand.

  4. The capital shouldn’t be based on the festival it should be on who provides the most strawberries to the world which would be most definitely in California and probably between Watsonville and Oxnard. California takes care of about 90% of strawberry production in the US with over 1.8 billion pounds of strawberries a year. I think that deserves the title. But if a festival counts then just to let you know that both towns have strawberry festivals. Just saying.

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