Yesterday, we received a significant amount of Twitter heat for our repost of Brazilian chef Leticia Moreinos Schwartz’s magnificent and sexy avocado crème brûlée. Comments were not limited to “No thanks, gross,” “Burn your office down,” and, of course, the perpetually impactful “Delete your account.” Hey, we didn’t post it in honor of the swampy green peroxide pool at the Rio Olympics in order to gross you out, okay? We’re talking about dessert here, actual legit dessert that you will LOVE, not some sugary Frankenstein destined for one of those godforsaken “irresistible” Buzzfeed roundups where you honestly don’t know if the writers are kidding or not anymore.
FR social media manager Danny Carnaje, who first alerted us to this backlash, says, “Growing up in a Filipino household, my mom made sweet avocado milkshakes long before everyone started creating avocado “roses” and putting them on pieces of toast.” Sweet avocado shakes? Yes, yes and yes. You cannot possibly know the transcendence until you slurp one through a straw.
Now here’s why the haters have their bibs in a twist: These are people who likely spent the last few decades calling avocado nasty. They might not even necessarily be picky eaters, but they still say things befitting the title, such as “I mean, the texture is just gross. It’s mushy, and it’s a weird shade of green.” Perhaps they only started tolerating guacamole last month because their Tinder dates were like, “Ooh, guac!” and they managed to get a bite down the hatch to avoid the game-ending lameness of admitting that they don’t like avocado. Having only recently started to abide guac after years of routine avocado disdain will most certainly limit its appeal to savory applications.
Here’s how to fix that mental block, going back to that “gross” mushy texture. Thanks to avocado’s mild flavor and smoothness — it’s only mushy if you mush it and then call it mushy — the fruit is remarkably perfect for incorporating into desserts the same way you would use butter or eggs. It blends seamlessly into custard for ice cream or, say, crème brûlée. It can effectively replace the vegetable oil in brownies and the mayonnaise in chocolate cake (apologies to those previously unaware that many excellent chocolate cake recipes call for a cup or more of mayo). It adds rich creaminess to fruit popsicles, freezing beautifully. And it doesn’t lose any of its many valuable nutrients in any of these processes. Pardon my French, but that makes avocado a fucking miracle, does it not? I should disclose that most of my examples of miracles involve cooking and are not actually miraculous, such as the burger dog.
In summation, if the thought of avocado in your dessert truly bugs you out, don’t worry, you’re not stuck that way. Visualize that silky, green goodness as all-natural vegetable butter that grows in friendly pods on trees — the best, creamiest, most flavorful butter that exists. Then imagine it enriching your dessert with its innate superiority. Your crème brûlée is still the same velvety, crunchy, vanilla-infused custard it always was, but it’s taken on a pleasing green hue and extra fiber, potassium and omega-3s. Now find something bad about that.