What happens when you smash avocado and spread it on toasted bread? You get delicious, nutritious celebrity chow. Read on to see more about the food craze that has taken over the internet and earned a spot in the healthy foodie hall of fame. Find out what makes avo toast the irresistible dish you don’t need to resist.
Spotting celebrities in restaurants around NYC or LA used to mean looking for someone sporting sunglasses indoors or toting a well-dressed poodle in a purse, but now it’s the avocado toast on their plate that might blow their cover. Gwyneth Paltrow put the recipe in her cookbook and referred to avocado toast as the nutritional equivalent of her favorite pair of jeans. Miley Cyrus has an avocado tattooed on her arm. Olivia Wilde and Jennifer Aniston are just some of the celebs that have Instagrammed their avocado toast meals. Meryl Streep was even turned into a piece of avocado toast on @tasteofstreep.
Why is this green toast so beloved? Maybe it’s because smashed avocado is the ultimate wingman—It pairs well with sweet, savory, and spicy. You can eat avocado toast for breakfast with eggs, for lunch with bread, turkey and tomato, or dinner with shrimp on top. The creamy texture makes it feel like you’re eating something sinful and decadent, when it’s actually nutrient-dense and free of sodium, cholesterol, and gluten.
Avocado is also a nutritional rockstar. Often nicknamed the alligator pear or green gold, avocado contains more potassium than bananas, heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids, tons of fiber, and plenty of antioxidants. A single serving yields significant amounts of vitamins K, C, and E, folate, and plenty of minerals too, such as magnesium, copper, and manganese.
Jayne Orenstein explored the rampant popularity of avocado toast in a Washington Post article entitled, How the Internet became ridiculously obsessed with avocado toast. She traces the evolution of avocado toast from its inception in the 1990s, when it was added to a menu by a chef in Sydney, across the world to New York’s Cafe Gitane, where it appeared in 2006. Orenstein explains that “prominent food blogs seized on the simplicity of the dish and posted recipes based on Gitane’s version.” For the past decade, this delicacy has grown exponentially in popularity, and according to google data, searches for “Avocado Toast” are still on the rise today.
Avocado toast journeyed to my hometown of Los Angeles, and can be found on the menus of all the hottest eateries in town. My favorite place to sample this scrumptious fare locally is at Harvest Moon, a local cafe and marketplace. They make a simple version that a snapped a picture of, above, which features smashed avocado, olive oil, sliced tomato and basil leaves on a crispy ciabatta bread. It is, in my opinion, heaven on a plate. I asked a couple of diners at Harvest Moon what they loved about it. One patron said, “I like it because it looks so pretty on the plate.” Another said, “I like it because it is healthier than putting butter on toast and a lot more filling.” Wendy, the waitress, shared that she loves it too, “especially with hot sauce and lime.”
Some chefs have begun speculating about what the next toast craze will be. Smashed sweet potatoes and smashed beets are both getting some buzz, but for now, avocado toast reigns supreme as the most popular culinary canvas for customizing your own signature snack. Next time you’re wondering what to snack on or serve at a party, consider creating your own version of green gold on toast.
Header image by Ran Z on Flickr
Avo toast isn’t the only food craze going around—check out the hype around infused water.