The acquired taste of avocados

BY DEBBIE MATTHEWS, The Curious Cook
Posted 4/3/20

When I was a kid, our Coast Guard family moved to Puerto Rico for three years.

Our base was like Eden. Every yard had multiple fruit-bearing plants. We had coconuts and key limes. Other families …

The News + Record is worth reading!

We’re all about Chatham County, and we welcome you to our site. You can view up to 3 stories each month, then registration is required.

Please sign in below if you have an account. If not, please register here to get an account and an additional 7 stories each month. It’s easy and takes just a minute.

Our staff works hard to bring good journalism, writing and story-telling to Chatham County. HELP US! You can get the News + Record mailed to you weekly by subscribing here.

Please log in to continue

Log in

The acquired taste of avocados

Thanks for reading Chatham County’s leading news source! Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing to the News + Record – you can do so by clicking here.

Posted

When I was a kid, our Coast Guard family moved to Puerto Rico for three years.

Our base was like Eden. Every yard had multiple fruit-bearing plants. We had coconuts and key limes. Other families had mango, lemons, breadfruit, bitter orange, finger lime, bananas, plantains, you get the idea.

Like I said, Eden.

The commanding officer of the base had four kids. One of them was Kitty, my best friend. We lived around the corner from each other and split our time between houses.

I thought the whole family was glamorous and exciting — a kind of Coast Guard Kennedy clan.

The matriarch of the family is Mama Cat, the sophisticated Jackie O. I adore her. The couple entertained a lot, so she introduced exciting foods into my meatloaf-and-canned-green-beans world.

The Murphys had an avocado tree in their yard. Mama Cat loved them way before they were cool. Many days she’d have a fresh avocado for lunch, just peeled, sliced and salted.

After seeing her eat them awhile, I wanted in. So, one day, I asked for a taste.

She looked dubious, “Have you ever had avocado? They’re kind of an acquired taste.”

Maybe so, but I was an especially cosmopolitan 4th grader.

So, I had a taste.

Good googa mooga! Why, in the name of all that is holy, would somebody put that nasty green mess into their mouths on purpose? If I were on a desert island, I would happily starve to death rather than eat that horrible, horrible punishment of a food.

Cut to 15 years later, and in a restaurant, I receive a few slices of avocado as a garnish. I had recently discovered that I was in love with artichokes, so I thought maybe my palate had matured enough to enjoy another problematic, intimidating veg.

In the ensuing years, it had happened: taste acquired.

Petey’s not a big fan, but The Kid and I love them. People may make fun, but avocado toast is a delicious way to use them. You can tailor the recipe to your own taste.

The Kid loves chili flake, goat cheese and pea shoots. I like shaved red onion and a poached egg. Sourdough is our toast of choice.

Unless I’m in a rush, I buy really hard, unripe avocados and let them ripen at home. Costco sells a bag of them for a good price. If too many ripen at once to eat, they can be stored in the fridge. This stops the ripening process so they wait on you, and not the other way around. They can hibernate in the chill chest for up to a week.

I invented this pesto when I had plenty of extra, in case the sauce was a dud.

It so isn’t a dud.

Thanks for your time.

Contact me at dm@bullcity.mom.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment