Avocado toast

Avocado toast is a type of open sandwich consisting of toast with mashed avocado, and any of a variety of spices and flavorful ingredients. The most popular are usually salt and black pepper, sometimes lemon juice or other citrus, while others include olive oil, hummus, vinegar, red pepper, feta, duqqa and tomato.

Avocado toast became a food trend of the 2010s. It has appeared on café menus since at least the 1990s. Following avocado toast's elevation to trend status, the act of ordering avocado toast at a café was criticized as a symbol of frivolous spending.

Origins

Ingredients for avocado toast

Avocados are a native fruit of the Americas with their likely origin being Central Mexico.[1] The trees and fruit have been cultivated by pre-Columbian civilizations from South Central Mexico for nearly 9,000 years.[1][2]

Sliced or mashed avocado has been eaten on some sort of bread, flatbread, or tortilla (often heated or toasted) since humans first started consuming bread and avocados, and before any documented or written history. In Chile avocado on marraqueta or "pan con palta" or "tostadas con palta" is a common traditional breakfast.[3] and has been eaten since at least 1926, as the recipe is written in the book "Manual de Cocina" by Lucia Larrain Bulnes.

In some countries in the Americas, avocado toast for breakfast has been such a dietary staple that there is no documentation, nor was there a reason to document (such as in a recipe) such a basic, simple spread on toast.[4][5][better source needed]

The consumption of avocados on bread or toast has been reported in various sources from the late 19th century onward. In the San Francisco Bay Area, people have been eating avocado toast since at least 1885.[3][6] In 1915, the California Avocado Association described serving small squares of avocado toast as an appetizer.[7] In an article published in The New Yorker on 1 May 1937, titled "Avocado, or the Future of Eating", the writer eats "avocado sandwich on whole wheat and a lime rickey."[8] In 1962, an article in The New York Times showcased a "special" way to serve avocado as the filling of a toasted sandwich. According to The Washington Post, chef Bill Granger may have been the first person to put avocado toast on a modern café menu in 1993 in Sydney,[9] although the dish is documented in Brisbane, Australia, as early as 1929.[10] In 1999, food writer Nigel Slater published a recipe for an avocado "bruschetta" in The Guardian. The journalist and editor Lauren Oyler credited Cafe Gitane with bringing the dish to the United States in its "Instagrammable" form, as it grew as a food trend. Chloe Osborne, the consulting chef at Cafe Gitane in Manhattan, who first put avocado toast on its menu, tried it herself for the first time in Queensland, Australia, in the mid-1970s.[8][better source needed]

Modern day

Avocado toast topped with tomato and olive salsa, served with a cup of coffee

Jayne Orenstein of The Washington Post reports, "avocado toast has come to define what makes food trends this decade: It's healthy and yet ever-so-slightly indulgent. It can be made vegan and gluten-free." Gwyneth Paltrow has been credited with the popularization of avocado toast through her recipe book, It's All Good. The dish was popularized on social media, with many food bloggers recreating the dish. Bon Appétit magazine published a recipe for "Your New Avocado Toast" in its January 2015, and by 2016, the dish was being depicted on T-shirts, with the Washington Post calling it "more than just a meal – it's a meme".[9]

Some writers argue that its popularity overlaps with the clean living movement.[11] The fad has reportedly increased the price of avocados.[12][13]

The popularity and demand for avocados has placed unprecedented pressure on the environment, leading to a reaction by some environmentally aware cafés, which have now removed avocado toast from their menus.[14][15][16]

Variations

Variations include avocado on sweet potato toast,[17] avocado and Vegemite toast,[18] French toast with avocado and Parmesan,[19] avocado toast fingers with soft-boiled eggs,[20] avocado and baked beans on toast,[21] and avocado and feta smash[clarification needed] on toasted rye.[22] Another common variation is toast with smashed avocados, soft-boiled egg, and other toppings, often including hot sauce.[23]

Economy

Further information: Middle-class squeeze

In Australia in late 2016, consumption of avocado smashed on toast became a target of criticism, after columnist Bernard Salt in The Australian wrote an article about how "young people order smashed avocado with crumbled feta on five-grain toasted bread at $22 a pop and more", arguing that they should be saving to buy a house instead.[24] (Salt later said that his piece was intended to humorously satirise the conservative attitudes of baby boomers.[25])

Millennials countered that they felt "a sense of futility" in saving for a house with the high cost of housing in Australia,[26] and the Sydney Morning Herald calculated that a person saving $66 a week on brunch while property prices continued to rise year on year would only be able to afford a 10% house deposit in Hobart, with all other capital cities being unaffordable.[27] Furthermore, cafés were said to have become the primary space for millennials to catch up with their friends.[28] In the wake of the controversy, several cafés offered 'discount' versions of smashed avocado.[29] Home lender ME bank started a home loan campaign with the slogan "Have your smashed avo and eat it too".[30]

Tim Gurner, a 35-year-old Australian property developer, stated in May 2017 that millennials should not be buying smashed avocado and $4 lattes in their pursuit of home ownership.[31][32][33][34][35] In response to this, it was estimated that the savings of forgoing avocado on toast would be an estimated €500 annually, and that at this rate it would take over 500 years to save for a house in Ireland, at current market prices.[36] This use of avocado toast has been likened to David Bach's "Latte Factor".[37]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Landon, Amanda J. (2009). "Domestication and Significance of Persea americana, the Avocado, in Mesoamerica". Nebraska Anthropologist. 47. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  2. ^ Schaffer, B (2013). The avocado: botany, production and uses. Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK: CABI. ISBN 978-1-84593-701-0.
  3. ^ a b "General Notes". Daily Alta California. California Digital Newspaper Collection. University of California. 5 November 1885. Archived from the original on 11 August 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  4. ^ Salmi, Noelle (29 November 2018). "Why Chile is the perfect gateway trip to South America". Matador Network. Archived from the original on 6 December 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  5. ^ Huddleston, Justina (20 June 2018). "The Crazy, International, and Delicious History of Avocado Toast". Brit+Co. Brit Media, Inc. Archived from the original on 21 February 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  6. ^ Pereira, Alyssa (21 July 2017). "San Franciscans have been making avocado toast for more than 130 years". SFGate. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  7. ^ California Avocado Association (1915). "Annual Report" (PDF). Avocado Source. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 September 2004. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  8. ^ a b Oyler, Lauren. "My Fruitful Search for the Origins of Avocado Toast". Broadly. Vice. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  9. ^ a b Orenstein, Jayne. "How the Internet became ridiculously obsessed with avocado toast". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  10. ^ O'Connell, Jan (17 September 1920). "1929 Avocado on toast first mentioned". Australian food history timeline. Archived from the original on 21 April 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  11. ^ Goldfield, Hannah. "The Trend is Toast". The New Yorker. Conde Nast. Archived from the original on 22 July 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  12. ^ Verhage, Julie (8 May 2017). "From unicorns to avocado toast, hipster fads jack up food prices". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  13. ^ Brown, Genevieve Shaw (8 September 2014). "Why Avocado Toast Is the Hottest New Breakfast Food". ABC News. Archived from the original on 9 September 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  14. ^ Barr, Sabrina (2 December 2018). "Avocados banned from trendy cafes over environmental concerns". The Independent. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  15. ^ Howell, Madeleine; May, Gareth (4 April 2019). "The hidden cruelty of the cashew industry – and the other fashionable foods that aren't as virtuous as they appear". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  16. ^ "The Avocado War". Rotten. Season 2. Episode 1. 4 October 2019. Netflix.
  17. ^ "Avocado Bruschetta on Sweet Potato Toast". Australian Avocados. Hort Innovation. Archived from the original on 13 February 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  18. ^ "Avocado and Vegemite Toast". Australian Avocados. Hort Innovation. Archived from the original on 25 February 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  19. ^ "French Toast with Avocado & Shaved Parmesan". Australian Avocados. Hort Innovation. Archived from the original on 23 April 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  20. ^ "Avocado Toast Finger with Soft-Boiled Eggs". Australian Avocados. Hort Innovation. Archived from the original on 13 February 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  21. ^ "Avocado and Baked Beans on Toast". Australian Avocados. Hort Innovation. Archived from the original on 13 February 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  22. ^ "Avocado and Feta Smash on Toasted Rye". Australian Avocados. Hort Innovation. Archived from the original on 21 April 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  23. ^ Krista (15 May 2017). "Smashed Avocado Toast with Soft Boiled Egg". Joyful Healthy Eats. Archived from the original on 19 May 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  24. ^ Salt, Bernard (16 October 2016). "Evils of the hipster cafe". The Australian. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  25. ^ Salt, Bernard (21 October 2016). "Tweet all you like, but avo look at what was written". The Australian. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  26. ^ Taylor, David (17 October 2016). "Millennials hit back at housing claims in 'smashed avocado' debate". ABC News. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  27. ^ Fitzsimmons, Caitlin (23 October 2016). "Avocado economics for first-home buyers". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  28. ^ Connellan, Nick (17 October 2016). "The Smashed Avocado Generation". Broadsheet. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  29. ^ "Cafes offer discounted smashed avo to help millennials save for house". ABC News. 19 October 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  30. ^ "Don't mess with our smashed avo". The Australian. 18 October 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  31. ^ Reid, David (16 May 2017). "Millionaire says millennials should stop buying avocado in order to buy dream home". CNBC. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  32. ^ Cummings, William (16 May 2017). "Millionaire to Millennials: Your avocado toast addiction is costing you a house". USA Today. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  33. ^ Levin, Sam (15 May 2017). "Millionaire tells millennials: if you want a house, stop buying avocado toast". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  34. ^ Horowitz, Julia (15 May 2017). "Millionaire to millennials: Lay off the avocado toast if you want a house". CNN. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  35. ^ "'Don't buy $19 smashed avocado': Melbourne property tycoon hammers millennials over spending habits". 9News. 15 May 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  36. ^ Jones, Fionnuala (17 May 2017). "Here's how much avocado toast equates to a house in Ireland". News Talk. Archived from the original on 21 May 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  37. ^ Burkeman, Oliver (8 December 2017). "Will you be able to afford a flat if you stop buying avocado toast?". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 April 2018.