In the decades before they became a cultural phenomenon, Australians consumed avocados in but two dishes: accompanying prawn cocktails, or served with salad. So what happened?
One person you might ask is Antony Allen. Few in Australia know more about avocados than he does.
Soft-spoken, with an adman’s glasses, Mr Allen is a qualified horticulturalist, the current president of the International Avocado Society, and a former chief executive of Avocados Australia.
Mr Allen is also chief executive of The Avolution — a coalition of Queensland avocado growers whose Pinterest page offers the beguiling taxonomy of “catchy food info”, “fresh retail”, and “recipes yum”.
On The Avolution’s website, the picture placed next to his biography is a Hass avocado tree. But Mr Allen hasn’t always been a champion of the green-skinned goody.
“I used to pick the mushy bit out [of salads] whenever my mother put the avocados in,” he says. “I wouldn’t touch it.”