Avocados have a special place in people’s hearts and stomachs.
The country’s appetite for the rich, buttery fruit (yes, avocado is a fruit) has nearly quadrupled since 2000, according to data from the Hass Avocado Board. Americans consume about 4.25 billion avocados every year, despite shortages sending prices sky-high at grocery stores.
On March 19, San Franciscans gathered for the Bay Area’s first ever Avocado Con, a celebration of all things avocado. Take a look.
California is the avocado-growing and eating capital of America. Thousands turned up for the sold-out Avocado Con, which featured 15 food trucks peddling avocado-infused foods.
Every vendor sold an item -- either one already on the menu or an original creation for the event -- that included sliced, diced, scooped, or mashed-up avocado. It cost $US5 (about $A6.55) to attend.
I started with the $14 Avocado Pizza, a personal pie topped with bacon, mushrooms, red onion, and avocado, from Firetrail Pizza. The savoury combo tasted like a BLT on steroids.
While the crumbled bacon and creamy avocado were a match made in brick-oven heaven, I felt like the avocado could have been used more creatively. The slices just sat on top.
I passed one booth where employees of pop-up restaurant Nombe were hard at work peeling, slicing, and seasoning avocados before tossing them into a deep fryer.
Some foods looked guilt-free and refreshing, like zucchini noodles tossed in a pine-nut-free, avocado-infused pesto sauce from Raw -- A Juice Company. It cost $US10 (about $A13).
The Steamin' Holy Guacamole Burger from The Steamin' Burger food truck took gluttony to new lengths. Their burger featured generous amounts of guac at no extra cost.
The desserts were also plentiful. Oakland bakery Marley's Treats drew crowds for its vanilla cupcakes topped with avocado frosting, among other treats.
I tried a single scoop of avocado custard topped with crumbled Oreo cookies from the FK custard truck.
However, the company's Avocado Boba Milk Shake blew me away. It was creamy like a Wendy's Frosty and light like boba tea. A fruity flavour gave way to an avocado finish.
Poke Delish serves up fresh, customised poke bowls out of its restaurant in San Francisco. Its food truck drew hour-long lines all day (which I was not brave enough to join).
Typically, customers can choose white or brown rice or greens as their base. But at Avocado Con, the company served its famous poke bowls out of halved avocados.
For protein, customers could choose from salmon, tuna, shrimp, or tofu. They could load it up with toppings like seaweed salad, kimchi, edamame, cucumber, or fish eggs.
The cost: $US14 (about $A18.25). Judging by the happy look on customers' faces, it was worth the wait.
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