7 Things About Avocado Beyond Nigella’s #Avogate

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Seriously? Last week, the First World was up in arms, not because of Syrian refugees or severe drought, but because of #Avogate: Nigella Lawson’s demo of a ‘recipe’ for avocado on toast on British TV.

Nigella’s supposed faux pas, making a recipe out of something people consider too simple to be a recipe (even though her book is called Simply Nigella) comes in the wake of avocado on toast cited as overcado, the Oprah of Instagram, and the most annoying food on Instagram. Unbeknownst to me, it’s been trendy in the US and beyond for the past couple of years, greening its way onto menus everywhere – even at McDonald’s (in Japan), an indicator that a trend is over.

IMG_2512I’m pretty much an internet troll when it comes to food and I still have half a foot planted in California, but somehow, unlike kale and chia seeds, this trend totally escaped me.

In South Africa, avocado is not just a good fat; it’s a staple. And, avocado on toast –known as avo on toast – is as trendy as.…quiche.

  1. Avo on toast has been a thing in South Africa forever. It’s like peanut butter on toast. Hard to imagine that as the next cronut.
  2. It’s never been trendy here. Which doesn’t mean it’s not adored. My husband has eaten mashed avo on toast with salt, pepper and brown vinegar since he was a boy. His Dad, who grew up in Kwazulu-Natal, ate it before him. The avos they ate, which were huge and buttery, mostly came from trees in people’s gardens.
  3. Avo on toast is a snack/lunch that as far as I know, is colour blind – as in, every race eats it. Like potato chips. But a lot healthier.
  4. Avo on bread is portable…take avocado, loaf of bread, knife and fork, s and p, and voila: lunch. Add electricity and you have avo on toast.
  5. With banting/paleo now well-entrenched here, there’s less bread and more avo being slathered about.
  6. Avos are, thankfully, still seasonal here (not here in Cape Town, but in northeastern SA). According to the South African Avocado Growers’ Association, they have a 7 to 8-month growing season. Round about the end of November, they are phasing out for the summer, the time when you really crave them most. So in the next couple of weeks, I’ll be stocking up.

In short, #Avogate means nothing to South Africans, who will continue to smash avo on toast, without knowing or caring that it was ever trendy anywhere else.


Written by Ilana Sharlin Stone

I'm a food writer, blogger and former chef who found her umami in Cape Town, South Africa.

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