Unlike my millennial-born offspring who were weaned on avocados, I actually remember my first encounter with the old "alligator pear" which didn't make an appearance into my mostly Scottish-Canadian diet until the early 1990's. It was in grade 7 home economics class. Our teacher, sporting her usual homemade floral dress and running shoes, brought in a variety of "exotic" fruits for the class to sample - fruits not regularly seen at our local big chain grocery stores. So the class took a break from hand-sewing stuffed animals to sample an array of supposedly strange fruits: avocado, plantain and pomegranate. What our teacher failed to realize was that many of these fruits were staples for my very diverse group of classmates.
Sadly, my first avocado was a total disappointment. Overripe and brown, it tasted vaguely like the smell of rotting garbage. It was years until I gave this beautiful buttery green superfood another try.
These days avocado is a staple in our house. In fact, I would go so far as to credit it with keeping my son alive for the first four years of his life. It is heavily featured in smoothies, guacamole and, of course, on toast. What I like about avocado on toast is that it's delicious (obviously) and that the high healthy fat content helps to keep elevenses at bay (i.e. second breakfast). Put an egg on it and you're laughing all the way till lunch.
In order to avoid the garbage-like sensation of overripe avocados, I've included a few tips at the bottom for buying and storing them.
BASIC AVOCADO TOAST
1/4 of a large avocado spread on toasted bread of your choice (my morning preference is a slice of whole sprouted grain)
A sprinkle of flakey sea salt (preferably Maldon)
Tomatoes (as many as you can reasonably fit!)
Spinach (fresh or sautéed)
Crispy Fried Egg
Smear of coconut butter
Smear of cream cheese
Sprinkle of smoked paprika
Or what about all of these possibilities on Food 52
Here are a few tips that have served me well when buying and storing avocado:
- Rather than squeezing, pull off the little stem nub at the top of the fruit to see what colour is revealed. If it's lovely and green, then the avocado is perfectly ripe.
- You can pop a just ripe avocado in the fridge, but it tastes better if you bring it back to room temperature before eating.
- Store partially eaten avocados in the fridge with the pit still in, wrapped in foil.
- If you can, buy them at a good Mexican grocery store because the quality tends to be consistently high.