Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Well, I think now is as good a time as any to talk about avocados. I love them, I mention them often. Their gorgeous image graced the cover of Saveur magazine about a year ago. I'm holding on to that issue. But, unfortunately don't get to enjoy them often enough. See, here in Portland, an avocado the size of, mmm, a really small pear, is three dollars. That's a lot. And often, they're not even ripe. Even when they're soft.

In Hawaii, the avocados are so huge (bigger than a softball), and buttery, and yellow--not light yellow, like, mustard-yellow. So good. Great on tacos, salads, sandwiches, or just on toast. Avocado toast--putting ripe avocado on a piece of toasted bread with a squeeze of lime and Spike seasoning=heaven. They serve avocado on whole grain toast at my favorite cafe in the world, Cafe Gitane (NYC). I think I've just identified a comfort food. My mom's been preparing that snack combination my whole life, and she still eats it a couple times a week. I did the same when I was on Kauai in February.

When I was a kid (little--maybe three?), I was even permanently scarred from this food--the lime juice dripped off the avo onto my leg and, it being Hawaii, I went out into the sun and got this birthmark looking burn. It's gone now (okay so it wasn't exactly permanent), but I had it all through childhood. It was on my leg. Maybe I just wanted a birthmark. I used to say that I was allergic to lime juice. Ask my friends. Paranoia still prevents me from touching any kind of citrus if I'm in the sun--you'll never catch me taking that lime wedge from the side of my margarita and squeezing it poolside.

Back to avocados. I think the avocado sandwich is also a perfect food. Avo and monterey jack cheese on a sandwich is just so tasty. Or that as a quesadilla with salsa. I think all this must originate in Southern California, the land of citrus, and Mexican food. And a good sandwich. They know how to make a good sandwich in California. They don't here. To me, the ultimate sandwich has got to have sprouts on it. Avocado, and sprouts. On hearty, whole grain bread. I don't care too much about the rest--it could have turkey, it might have cheese. It might have grated carrots. Andy's in Manoa (Oahu) understands this--they serve their turkey avo sandwich with about three different variations. They roast their turkey on-site and shred it daily. Their customer base is so strong that they are somehow able to be closed on Saturdays. What I wouldn't give for one of Andy's sandwiches right now--I guess I'll have to settle for avocado on spelt toast.

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