I Am a Mini Avocado Apologist
For clarity's sake, I am a fully-grown human, but the avocados are wee.
I am not a millennial. That's not usually what I lead with, but seeing as how I'm addressing avocados, it seemed mandatory that I mention it. The young folks get plenty of flack for their allegedly profligate ways with the green gold, and I guess they're all building houses and filling lap pools with it or somesuch.
But I'm solidly Gen-X and they don't need to be implicated in my shame: I bought a bag of those mini-avocados, and I think they're fantastic.
New Year. New Food. Healthy eating starts here, with the Cooking Light Diet.
These half-sized to two-thirds-sized Haas avocados—also marketed as gator eggs or babycados—enjoyed a mild flurry of press and social buzz back in 2016 when the fruit, previously available only at the UK-based Marks & Spencer department store, was spotted stateside at a Santa Monica farmers market.
"Oh hooray!" the food blogs crowed. "Things will be considerably more adorable from here on out!" And yet the babycado revolution failed to take hold—possibly because no one outside the immediate region could get their paws on a sack of them.
Then Trader Joe's entered the wee produce arena in the spring of 2017 with their exceptionally twee-ly named Teeny Tiny Avocados, and everyone went back and updated their stories, noting this go-around that the little fellas aren't any particular dwarf cultivar, but rather the result of distressing weather conditions, unpredictable bee activity, and all manner of other environmental factors.
Squee! (The TJ site notes that their price and availability changes in part due to due to "fluctuating market prices, federal regulations, currency rates, drought, pestilence, bandits, rush hour traffic, filibusters, clowns, zombie apocalypse" and other factors.) But I didn't get around to it because shopping at Trader Joe's in New York gives me panic attacks.
Luckily enough, avocados are packed with all sorts of nutritional benefits, like various B vitamins that supposedly reduce stress, and potassium and monounsaturated fat that aid with lowering blood pressure, so recently I knuckled under and ordered a bag from a grocery delivery service that had them in stock. Anxiety? Not so cute.
The appearance of these stunted avocados? Eh. But good golly, have they been useful. My advanced age did not somehow inoculate me against the primarily millennial ailment of "avocado anxiety"—not making this up, it's stress over the state of avocado ripeness—so I'd let avocados go bad, fearing I wouldn't be able to get around to eating the whole thing once I'd opened one. If this sounds absolutely bonkers to you, you're not wrong, but this is my life, exacerbated by 12 years of Catholic school.
These bitty avocados are the ideal size for chopping into my daily breakfast salad, making a selfish-sized portion of guacamole (with grape tomatoes, of course), or just, you know, forking into my face without feeling over-cadoed soon after. If I have a full-sized avocado, I feel obligated to offer the other half to whomever is around, or fussily tuck plastic wrap onto all exposed surfaces so it doesn't brown.
The diminished dimensions nix those complications from my life, and also, I don't know if this is something my brain has decided to do to reduce my mortification over falling for such a comically precious food item, but I could swear that they are even more flavorful and creamy than their larger counterparts. This may be due to their smaller size, but I'm just gonna go with it.
Do I hope that weather conditions snarl up in a similar way and render future crops so stingily-sized? Of course not. That would be completely sociopathic. I'm happy if I never have one again, and I'm not gonna stress about it.