Avocado, Three Ways

Here’s a little story about avocados: Thailand, late-night; a small town with seven streets in the middle of the jungle; a young American, more than slightly tipsy, is hungry. The stars are brilliant, he realizes, and the sky is completely clear. A few birds chatter in vast humid darkness surrounding him.

There is a lone food-cart lit by a flickering street lamp. A man sits quietly behind it, listening to his radio.

The American feels in his drunken way that this is something special. He is lonely after months of travel, and he is mildly desperate for something special.

The American sits down to eat, and the man nods amiably; the only food he has to offer is an avocado. They sit together in the dark night, smoking cigarettes, watching the dogs and the stars, sharing an avocado.  They talk about avocados.

The Thai man loves avocados. His favorite recipe is to take sweetened condensed milk, whip it with sugar and an egg yolk until it’s thick and creamy, then fill the seed-divot with the mixture; eat with a spoon.

The American is happy. He loves avocado too. But he likes guacamole, spicy, with onion and lime juice and cayenne. The Thai man laughs at the crazy American, and the American laughs along with him…pondering the difference between them as they sit there. (How different it is to eat an avocado with sweet milk than with chilis and acid). It seems profound to him, this difference, though he isn’t sure why.

A good avocado is rich and creamy. Rather than countering or accentuating those tendencies — as with the men in the story — one of our real-life customers recently suggested an interesting alternative: eat it with natto. This man lives amongst 12 acres of avocado trees, so he’s had ample opportunity to experiment with the best ways to enjoy the fruit. His favorite method is to cut it in half, remove the seed, score the flesh, and stir a healthy dollop of natto in the middle. Observe:

Neba-neba natto stickiness has an effect similar to rich and fatty food – coating the mouth, glossing the throat, eliciting a sense of satisfaction – without actually being rich and fatty itself; accentuating the avocado-ness of the avocado, you could say, but not exactly.  They’re an interesting pair.

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