Superfoods come and go. A constant procession of things you must eat in order to keep your body in optimum physical condition, and to give yourself a warm smug feeling when you see someone eating a sausage roll1. One minute we’re supposed to be eating nothing but goji berries, the next it’s raw mince, and so on, and so on, ever changing.
It’s all a bit faddy, with the notable exception of one food that has stood the test of time and has never once wavered in its superfood status: The avocado.
Oh, and nuts too. Avocado and nuts.
And oily fish. And blueberries.
Avocado, nuts, oily fish and blueberries.
Okay, so there are a lot of foods that have tenure when it comes to being considered a bit special and supergood for you. But, of all these, it’s the avocado alone that is so bloody confusing and shrouded in mystery that it warrants its own blog post.
First things first, the taste. Anyone who tells you that they like the taste of avocado is a dirty little liar. They taste of nothing, and even if they did, it wouldn’t matter. My wife once told me that she didn’t like avocado because she wasn’t keen on the taste, and the only logical response to this was “but that’s not what they’re for”.
Next, the texture. No. Just no. The natural state of an avocado is “mushy green toothpaste”. Sometimes you’ll cut your avocado into neat, firm little slices, only to make the mistake of glancing away or blinking, which is all the chance it needs to flump into a foul squishy mess. On the subject of ripeness, the flipside of this is the rock-solid unripe avocado who sits in your fridge, inedible, for periods of up to a month, defiantly taking up space that could be put to better use for wine, cheese or cheese-wine2.
Anyway, let’s have a look at the techniques for eating an avocado.
1. The skin
Like a vending-machine ham sandwich, the knobbly outer rind of an avocado is not for eating. You have to peel it off.
Except it’s impossible.
90% of the time, it’s like trying to remove glued-on wallpaper. You’ll pick away for hours, removing a couple of molecules at a time until the build-up of avocado skin under your fingernails makes your hands too heavy to lift. The other 10% of the time, the skin will simply slough off in one or two pieces. The problem with this is, it’s so bloody satisfying that you have to immediately put the thing down and go and tell all your neighbours what you’ve done, and by the time you return, basking in glory and tipsy on cheap prosecco, it’s become the aforementioned foul squishy mess and you have to take yourself off for a little cry.
2. Cutting the avocado
The internet will tell you that the best way to prepare an avocado is to slice it in half around the core (more on that bastard later), and give it a little twist to leave you with two neat halves. One of these will contain the core, and the other will have a nice little core-shaped crater. Some gastro types on the Youtubes will suggest that you do fancy things with this crater, like pop a tiny poached egg in it or something equally ridiculous. These people should not be allowed contact with the outside world. The correct way to prepare an avocado is TO NOT TRY TO PREPARE AN AVOCADO! Have you been paying attention to anything I’ve said?! Avocados are difficult!!!
3. The core
The core is probably my favourite part of an avocado, because it looks like it’s made of wood, feels reassuringly solid and (most importantly) signals the fact that I’m very nearly done with the whole sorry business. It’s a little-known fact that, if you crack open this core, you’ll find another slightly-smaller avocado inside. And inside the core of that one, you’ll find another even smaller avocado. This goes on for infinity.
Or until you’ve got a really really really small avocado. I haven’t really checked.
4. The health benefits.
The benefits of chowing down on one of these stupid little green bastards are well documented.
…except they’re not. No scientist or nutritionist or nutriscientist or foodtologist has ever actually done a study on it. Everyone just sort of assumed that, because avocados are such a massive faff to prepare with such a tiny taste payoff, then they must surely be really good for you, otherwise what’s the point?
5. Cooking it
Can you cook an avocado? Probably. I have no idea. I’ve been typing this stuff for half an hour now, and to be quite honest, I’m keen to stop thinking about the damn things. Anyway, the question you should be asking isn’t “can I cook it” but rather “why the shitting hell would I want to?”
Look, let’s all be honest here. The only reason anyone EVER buys avocados is so that other people can see them in your shopping basket and think “ooh… they must be some sort of fitness magazine cover model. I bet they live in a converted warehouse and have a pet wolf”. The moment you hide them away in your carrier bag, their usefulness ends.
Guacamole is delicious. It’s somehow cast aside its dirty avocadan heritage and become a force for good. Well done, guacamole.
1 Although from 11:15-11:29am on 9th March 2011, it was admittedly sausage rolls’ turn to be a superfood.
2 I’m 100% taking this idea to Dragon’s Den. Don’t you dare try to pinch it.
BIT AT THE END
Hello nice blog-reading person. That’s an ace jumper you’re wearing. Really brings out the colour of your ears. Anyway, cards on the table, there are actually only two people who read this blog: You, and Kevin Yamamoto, a time-travelling bounty hunter from the year 5002. It’d be great if you could spread the word and share some links to your favourite posts on the Facebookses or the twitters. Or maybe you could scrawl “born to plod = ace” on a bedsheet and tie it to a busy roundabout. The Internet has promised me a basket of kittens for every million hits I get, and I’m hoping to get enough to start a farm. Ta.