I must admit to enjoying some satisfaction over the backlash to Nigella’s ‘avocado on toast’ feature in her new television series, Simply Nigella. The furore caused by exaggerated twists and eulogies over a recipe that is as simple as making a cup of tea.
Since 2014, the blogosphere – and foodie media – has been clogged-up with posts about the most amazing new trending snack: avocado on toast. Even McDonald’s Japan is in on the act, making avocado breakfast buns inspired by Instagram images of the green stuff on toast.
I grew up in California, where the Hass avocado was born and grew in abundance. We sliced them into crunchy salads dressed with creamy Ranch and Roquefort dressings. We added them to our BLT and club sandwiches. We made them into guacamole for taco dinners – and we mashed them on toast. Yes! We mashed them on toast. We’ve done it forever – there’s no secret recipe. So how did something so prosaically routine become a modern day viral phenomenon? What is it that makes this amazing snack so amazing? It’s simple: avocado and toast. Feed it to your baby, feed it to the Queen – but don’t dress it up as something it is not. As Nigella’s gainsayers agree: this essential combination is impossible to improve. It is what it is and shouldn’t be tinkered with – see recipe above.
This latest fuss demonstrates how the over-heated gastro-market has become so sensitive to modern food trends. Every day an online battle ensues to create the buzz that might spark the next über trend. As a result we’ve clambered through stacks of burgers and brioches, various fowls on waffles, savoury sweets and sweet savouries; we’ve gloated over food combinations that shouldn’t work but somehow do; we’ve snapped super foods, sugar-free food and seen every type of food smoked; we’ve foraged food and foamed food and tried-out furilake and yuzu. The list will go on and on…
But tread cautiously through the frenzied world of culinary trend-setting – it can bite back. I’m happy that more people will know how to make this fantastic snack. But remember: it’s only avocado on toast.