THE man regarded as the first to “smash avocado” has taken a moment to celebrate 25 years of the international, Australian-born phenomenon.
Aussie restauranteur, Bill Granger, first put avocado on a piece of toast and served it at his café in Sydney’s Darlinghurst back in 1993.
According to Australian Avocados, launched “brunch” as we now know it and sparked Australia’s great love affair with the versatile fruit.
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To help the quarter of a century milestone Mr Granger has shared his fresh, new avocado go-to dish for 2018 – avocado and smashed cucumber salad with mirin and sesame.
“Avocados bring such a wonderful textural contrast to so many dishes. This salad was inspired by classic, simple Japanese summer salads and brings a new flavour to one of my favourite foods,” Mr Granger said.
“Avocados always take on so many flavours and here, soy, sesame and citrus are natural partners to balance the richness of the avocado. This dish is incredibly versatile, I love it.”
This dish can be served up with poached or grilled chicken, fish, seafood or rice for dinner.
IN 1993, Australians were just beginning to dabble with avocado.
A decade later the nation was munching through an average 1.68kg a year, and today the average Australian eats a whopping 3.5kg of avocados each year, making Aussies the biggest consumers of avocados per capita in the English-speaking world.
Fuelling Australia’s passion for avocados is the fruit’s health benefits.
Avocados are nutrient dense and an excellent source of good fat, which means they are an easy way to make any meal better.
AUSTRALIAN avocado growers have kept up with growing demand in the last two decades and now have planted more than 2 million avocado trees, more than tripling the size of the industry since 1998.
Avocado grower and Avocados Australia board director, Tom Silver, says the fruit is here to stay.
“The public’s love for them just seems to keep going. You won’t see another food so passionately talked about and eaten – people are even using them to propose now,” Mr Silver said.
“Growers are planting new trees all the time. It takes three to four years for a newly planted avocado tree to bear fruit so as an industry we expect production to increase by around 50 per cent by 2025.
“That will be around 115,000 tonnes of avocados produced a year,” he said.
But for Bill Granger, who now has 18 restaurants worldwide and is in Sydney to open his new restaurant in Surry Hills, smashing an avo still has a special place in his heart.
“Avocado on toast was born because I was looking for something tasty to go with a bloody Mary at breakfast. I added it to the menu and it quickly became a favourite,” he said.
“Avocado on toast is still my go-to breakfast, with either salmon or poached eggs. It cannot be beaten.”