Hailed by vegans and meat-eaters alike and enjoyed by students across the land, the rise of the avocado has been mighty.
Whether it is mashed on toast, sliced in a salad or blended into a smoothie, avocados are everywhere. But what makes this exotic green fruit so popular? And has the avocado fad gone too far?
Originally from Mexico, avocados are now grown worldwide in tropical climates. There are two main types of avocado, Fuerte and Hass. Over the last few years the humble avocado has risen in popularity from something that few had heard of to a fruit that every well-respecting student knows how to slice, dice and mash.
People not only love it for its taste but also for its health benefits. Known to be a good source of vitamin E and vitamin B, avocados are also a good source of fibre, iron and potassium. It has the highest protein content of any fruit and it is also believed to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
With Instagram feeds dedicated to them and avocado cook books being sold by Amazon, avocados are everywhere, or so it seems. In 2017 there was a global shortage of avocados. Perhaps not a global crisis but certainly a tragic time for many avocado lovers.
Record demand and reduced harvest in Mexico and California led to a shortage of avocados in the UK and worldwide. While this shortage may not directly affect the consumer, if you go to your local supermarket you’re likely to see plenty of avocados, it does mean that supermarkets have had to raise their prices. During 2017 10-kilogram boxes of Hass avocados from wholesalers in Mexico more than doubled in price.
This of course in turn means that supermarkets should charge much more for the coveted product, as do restaurants and other outlets that use avocado in their recipes.
In Australia and New Zealand, the shortage of avocados was even more critical with growing demand and surging prices leading some to steal them in bulk, cutting the fruits down from orchards to sell them on.
With this global shortage looking no nearer to ending and prices looking unlikely to drop anytime soon, will avocados one day replace caviar as the delicacy of the rich and famous? If so, what will the fad be for the next generation?
Maybe you are eating avocado right now as you flick through the latest issue of Concrete. Count yourself lucky, you might not be eating them for much longer.
Av- it in all these ways: