Did someone say avocado bar?
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There is perhaps no fruit more closely associated with this decade than the avocado, from fast food ads to the financial woes of millennials forever tied to the creamy toast topping in memes. According to the USDA, per capita avocado consumption in the United States has tripled since the beginning of the 2000s.
In 2017, a restaurant called Avocaderia opened its doors in Brooklyn, New York and declared itself “the world’s first avocado bar.” After an appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank earlier this year, Avocaderia’s Alessandro Biggi and Francesco Brachetti, along with their fellow co-founder Alberto Gramigni opened a second location in Manhattan with plans to expand nationwide. Biggi and Brachetti joined Marketplace’s Adriene Hill to talk about their new avocado-inspired cookbook and the challenges of running a business focused on one single fruit.
One issue is the pricing of menu items when avocado costs are so volatile, said Brachetti who is also Avocaderia’s director of operations. Speaking about a recent fluctuation in avocado supplies, Brachetti said:
“When they stopped the harvest in Mexico for ten days and prices went up through the roof, one of our packers in Michoacán told us, ‘Look, it’s very likely that you will not have supply for 10 days in New York, so take precaution, maybe fix the price now with your supplier because once the news is public knowledge on the market, it will be very hard to find avocados at the regular price.”
When asked about what would happen to Avocaderia if the avocado trend fizzles, Biggi said their mission is about providing people with healthy and tasty food. “I believe avocado will always be a part of what we do,” he said.
We asked Brachetti and Biggi for holiday recipe ideas featuring avocados. Check out two suggestions from the Avocaderia cookbook
This dessert isn’t just easy to make — it’s a showstopper and promises happy eaters, whether you’re at a potluck or a fancy dinner party. The combination of thick yogurt, cream cheese, and avocado makes this cheesecake extra creamy, while the white chocolate in the crust keeps the base crunchy for days. Want to have some fun with this dish? Serve it at your next party and have your guests try to guess the secret ingredient.
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon white chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 2/3 cup finely crushed oat cookies, such as McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
- 2/3 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup superfine sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- Zest of 2 limes, plus more for topping
1) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place four 4-inch baking molds on top. (Alternatively, you can use four small springform pans or tart pans; line them with parchment paper.)
2) In a small saucepan, melt the white chocolate chips and the coconut oil over medium heat. Stir in the cookie crumbs. Divide the cookie mixture between the prepared molds, pressing it firmly into a layer over the bottom; freeze until firm, at least 15 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, stir together the milk and gelatin over medium heat until the gelatin has dissolved.
4) In a blender or food processor, combine the cream cheese, avocado, yogurt, sugar, lime juice, and the gelatin mixture and blend until smooth. Stir in the lime zest. Fill the baking molds with the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours to set.
5) To serve, un-mold the cheesecakes onto individual plates and sprinkle with lime zest.
This is the first dessert we ever served at Avocaderia. We initially used almond milk, but after discovering that one of our staff members was allergic to almonds, we swapped in coconut milk and loved the result, which is still vegan and dairy-free. Store the mousse in a resealable container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days
- 1 and 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk or canned coconut milk
- 1 pound dairy-free dark chocolate, preferably 60% cacao, coarsely chopped
- 4 small ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, and chopped
- 1/4 cup agave syrup
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 tablespoons puffed quinoa, for sprinkling
- 2 teaspoons Maldon sea salt, for sprinkling
- 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper flakes, for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1) In a small saucepan, heat the almond milk over medium-high heat until it registers 175°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until melted; let cool to room temperature.
2) In a blender, combine the avocados, agave, orange zest, and cooled chocolate mixture and blend on high speed until smooth.
3) To serve, divide the mixture among four bowls. Sprinkle evenly with the puffed quinoa, sea salt, and Aleppo pepper and drizzle with the olive oil.
Avo-Lime Cheesecake is excerpted from AVOCADERIA: AVOCADO RECIPES FOR A HEALTHIER, HAPPIER LIFE © 2018 Alessandro Biggi, Francesco Brachetti and Alberto Gramigni. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Photography © Henry Hargreaves.
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