Australians like to think we’re good at drinking but we’re not. We fight after three drinks, and fall asleep after five. There’s also a national myth we’re intrepid travellers, but all we really do is move to London and wear thongs inappropriately.
There is one crude stereotype we live up to though: ‘aving a avo’. In fact, Avocados Australia data showed that the average Australian ate 4kg of avocados in 2020.
“Australians are the highest consumers, per capita, for avocados in the English-speaking world, a title we are proud of”, said Avocados Australia CEO John Tyas.
Speaking of this magnificent fruit, it’s now the time of year where the Hass v Shepard debate is in full swing, with many dedicated Avocado lovers eagerly awaiting the return of the superior (Hass) fruit to come back into season.
In the meantime, restauranter Ibby Moubadder (owner of Nour, Henrietta, Lilymu and Cuckoo Callay) is throwing an avocado festival at Cuckoo Callay in Surry Hills for eight weeks. The festival launched on the 13th of April and will go until the 11th of June.
Since we’re so nuts for the avo, Mr Moubadder’s team (across his restaurants) have created a menu that pays homage to it. Dishes will include an avo burger, buttermilk avo chips and even an avogato (avocado ice cream served with a double shot of espresso).
Paul Farag (Nour) and Brendan Fong (Lilymu) have come up with plates that flip the classic avo on toast on its head – whilst also paying homage to its heritage. Paul’s dish is tahini avocado served on saj bread with chermoula scrambled eggs, sujuk, wild rocket and herbs. Meanwhile, Brendan’s dishing up spiced avocado served on tostadas with smoked salmon, green nam Jim, thai herbs and a 63-degree poached egg.
To learn more about this trend, DMARGE spoke to Ollie Hughes, Executive Chef at Cuckoo Callay. First off: a history lesson. Mr Hughes told DMARGE Australia’s avocado obsession may have began as early as the 1990s.
“A certain Aussie chef claims the throne of putting avo on toast back in the 90s, but I’m not sure that’s the sole reason! There seems to have been a lot of ‘healthy’ food trends over the last 20 or 30 years with avocado being one of them.”
Why did it blow up so hard? Mr Hughes reckons it’s “because of how versatile and healthy [avocado is], and the fact it releases endorphins in your brain like chocolate does, it’s managed to stick around unlike a lot of the other trends.”
“I’m originally from the North of England where avocado and café culture is a rare thing and pubs/clubs with a doner kebab at 5am on your way home is breakfast and you’d probably get a funny look asking for avocado on toast,” Mr Hughes added.
“This is probably to do with the gloomy, cold, miserable, wet weather where no one really wants to be sat outside a cafe, freezing, eating their avocado on toast. Australia on the other hand has good weather almost all year round. Factoring in disposable income, Australia’s are much happier to sit outside in the sunshine and munch on the avo toast.”
As for the future of avocado trends, Mr Hughes told DMARGE: “I’m loving the Japanese flavours that are being incorporated to avo toast now, it really works. It seems to be used in desserts a lot more recently, so I’m looking forward to seeing how that goes.”
Our pick of the bunch? The ‘avogato’ looks tasty. Otherwise, we’d rather our avocado on toast with tomato, a drizzle of seeds, salt, pepper and lemon. As long as it costs $14 we’ll trust you it’s good. Thanks.