It’s hard to think of another fruit — heck, another solitary ingredient — more universally beloved than avocado. Native to south-central Mexico, the so-called alligator pear has long been used in sauces or as a nutrient-rich snack. Some archeologists believe avocado was prevalent throughout what’s now Peru as long as 15,000 years ago.
So if avocados have spent decades as a staple in the diets of health conscious North Americans, why is it over the past few years that the the big-seeded fruit morphed from simple food stuff to cultural icon?
For starters, they’re both delicious and nutritious (dream combo), and the internet is chock-full of lists exalting the avocado’s health benefits (among them, myriad vitamins, healthy fats and fibre, which can help with blood sugar, heart health and osteoarthritis).
What’s more, the creamy fruit appears in cuisines throughout the world. In Brazil, the Philippines and southern India, avocados are often used in milkshakes, in Ethiopia, they’re mixed with sugar and milk and made into a juice and, of course, in Mexico they’re mashed up for guacamole. The avocado is a diverse food which can be eaten fresh, grilled or fried.
And while avocado toast has become representative of the trend gone wild (with Australian real estate mogul Tim Gurner even blaming it for millennials’ inability to break into the housing market), the dish alone by no means indicates how well-loved the avocado truly is.
Below, our gallery of zany avocado concoctions shows the trend is far from over.
Of course, it’s impossible to build a list of top avocado dishes without paying due respect to avocado toast. This one, from avocado-only restaurant The Avocado Show in Amsterdam, might be the prettiest iteration out there.
This avant-garde take on avocado toast from minimalist Los Angeles restaurant Destroyer slow cooks avocado until exceptionally tender and pairs it with burnt onion and a powder of puffed teff (a fine grain traditionally from East Africa).
This cold soup mixes peas, avocados and mint for a take on the traditionally summer-served bisque.
A nutrient-packed drink, often made with almond or cashew milk, that lets you enjoy the benefits of the avocado on the go.
A cooling, creamy ice lolly that combines coconut milk, lemon juice and avocado, accented with rich, dark chocolate.
While it’s not uncommon for avocado to be used as the fat component in a cake — a sneaky trick many health-conscious bakers swear by — these adorable cupcakes put the fruit front and centre.
Avocado sauce over edamame noodles
Even gluten-free diners can enjoy a creamy bowl of noodles (these ones are made from edamame), topped with a puree of avocado, olive oil and salt.
A simple, filling dish that combines a cilantro-accented avocado purée with cooked white or brown rice, this concoction is the newest avocado dish taking social media by storm.
Avocado stone carvings
Proof that our love for avocado goes to the core, Irish artist Jan Campbell crafts these ornate figurines (which she frequently casts in bronze) from discarded avocado pits.
For when simply eating them is not enough.
These incredible carvings made from avocado flesh prove that, sometimes, it’s OK to play with your food.
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