They’re tacky, I know—the butt of endless food jokes even. Finding their company among kale, Greek yogurt and salmon, they’re like the cool aunt in the family of trendy health foods. And image aside—in fact almost as an act of defiance against that image—they’re always either under- or overripe. The grace period of actual ripeness is limited and often goes unnoticed until it’s too late. Yet despite everything, the avocado still reins supreme. It’s become a household favourite, nestled in next to bananas and kiwis in the family fruit bowl. And students in particular have an inexplicable attraction to its dark green, leather-like exterior. Surely, they have their reasons—these are mine.
No cooking required
The time an avocado takes to ripen is made up for by how quick it is to prepare. In fact, there’s practically no preparation time whatsoever. In halving a ripe avocado, the knife effortlessly falls into its soft grass-green interior. Then clasping each half and twisting in the opposite direction, its sides split apart with one tug. And after hacking out its pit, it can be as simple as scooping the contents into a bowl and seasoning with some salt and lemon juice. For the truly adventurous, they may mash together one or more for guacamole or toss rough chunks into a salad. Nonetheless, at its most basic, there is quite literally no cooking required.
Cost-effective yet filling
As much as I delight in carnivorous habits, I simply can’t afford to include meat, fish or poultry in every meal every day. On the other hand, man or not, I can’t live on bread alone. (It would take a lot of bread.) For times of financial guilt, in bulk and in comparison to traditional protein sources, a bag of avocados makes for a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches or dinners. (Or three bags for all three!) And its simple preparation saves for the addition of any other wallet-busting ingredients. It joins my list of life-saving proteins including beans, legumes and eggs.
Rich and fatty
Sure, easy preparation and inexpensiveness are desirable qualities in themselves. But unlike say a rip-off Louis Vuitton purse or pair of UGG boots, avocados don’t lie in the shadow of a more legitimate, superior equivalent. Smashed and spread on a crispy baguette, they’re as rich and lavish as a runny egg yolk or fine soft cheese. The avocado is comparable to Audrey Hepburn’s character in the classic romantic comedy, Sabrina. Or for that matter any movie where a main character apparently of one social class passes for another. Avocados are the favourite of middle-class health nuts, but come from far more meager roots. As we all know a transformation of sorts—time in Paris in Audrey’s case, some wicked marketing in the avocado’s—allows for such social boundary crosses. But ultimately the avocado or Audrey wouldn’t have succeeded without some inherent grace and class hiding within them. So, give the avocado the respect it deserves.