Yes Shepard Avocados Suck, But There's A Trick To Making Them Tasty
Shepard avocados may be the ugly ducklings of the produce aisle, but are we really in a position to be snubbing fresh fruit and veg right now?
Every March, like clockwork, I expect to see two things.
Rubbery, bright green Shepard avocados swarming my supermarket's shelves. And petulant, 'hot take' articles slamming them for it.
Shepard avocado season is upon us. And, as always, people are pissed about it.
Shepard and Hass avocados are the Kylie and Dannii Minogue of the produce aisle. I'll leave it up to you to decipher which is which.
Hass are the avocado variety we predominately see in Australia. They're deep green and purpley-black, textured on the outside and creamy soft on the inside. They're heaven in the form of a fruit.
Shepard on the other hand are a little more complicated, and a lot more misunderstood. They're tougher to smush and hide their ripeness like a saucy little secret.
They're in season February through April, but given the volume of 'I hate Shepard' op-eds out there, you'd be fooled into thinking it's a whole lot longer.
Now don't get it twisted. This isn't an 'In Defence Of Shepard' counter article. And I am no Shepard avo apologist. They are the inferior avocado, I accept that.
But in the wake of such a destructive and tragically sad summer, and in the midst of ongoing drought, I feel its irresponsible to be slagging off Australian-grown produce.
Especially knowing Shepard season was delayed this year due to the Queensland floods.
According to OzHarvest, Australia's leading food rescue charity, almost half of all fruit and vegetables produced are wasted. Our country sends over five million tonnes of food waste to landfill.
The already alarming statistics, coupled with the heartbreak and hardship our farmers and suppliers have experienced of late, makes a 'Shepards a sh*thouse' joke feel far too callous right now.
Yes Shepards are complicated. Yes they do kinda, sorta suck. But with a dash of ingenuity and a can-do attitude, we can make them work.
Here's how to serve up Shepard avocados
In sushi or tacos
A key shortcoming of the Shepard is that, unlike the Hass, they're typically not soft enough to whip up into a paste or spread. Avocado on toast may be a pillar of culture in this country, but it's sadly a no-can-do in this case.
Their rubbery texture does make them perfect for wraps, sushi, and tacos -- foods that require structure and texture.
Shepard avocados are like engineers, they mightn't have the skills to work with you cooperatively. But boy don't they know a thing or two about structural integrity.
Slice them up for salads
Hass avocados may be delicious, but they don't like to be left unattended to. Shepards are far less likely to chuck a tanty.
They keep their green colour and firm texture for a lot longer, so you can keep them in salads and other cold dishes you won't be serving immediately.
Eat them like a chip
Back at it again with the virtues of a firm texture -- Shepard avos make for an excellent battered hot chip.
Wash them with eggs, coat them in panko breadcrumbs, then bake them in the oven.
If you're look for something a little more naughty, you can batter them and throw them in the deep fryer. They won't melt to bits while they heat up, but they will give you that softness you're after with ever bite.
Featured Image: Australian Avocados Instagram
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