The deliciousness of avocado, a once unassuming fruit, is probably the worst kept secret of the past five years. The Beatles-level fame garnered by avocado toast and other made-for-Instagram avocado fads have so drastically reduced the world's avocado supply that the prices have skyrocketed. At this point, you might imagine that every avocado dish worth eating has already been made, but lately we've been seeing something new: avocado desserts.
From simply grilling an avocado to intricately freezing and then airbrushing avocado parfait, chefs are moving to take avocado back from Instagram. That's not to say these aren't beautiful dishes to photograph (they are), but unlike many double tap-inspiring novelties (mermaid toast, anyone?), avocado desserts are actually delicious.
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At Noma Mexico, the Tulum pop-up of celebrated chef René Redzepi's Copenhagen mecca, a grilled avocado with a scoop of mamey seed ice cream is served for dessert. While it may sound simple compared with the worms, ant larvae and grasshoppers also on the menu, Redzepi cleverly pairs the char of the creamy avocado with the nutty seed ice cream.
Innovation and optical illusion are on the menu at Empellón, chef Alex Stupak's newest restaurant in Midtown Manhattan. While this dish appears to be an avocado, your first spoonful will be a surprise. Stupak and pastry chef Justin Binnie freeze avocado parfait in a silicone mold to create an avocado shape and then airbrush it to make it look realistic. It's served with eucalyptus yogurt, olive oil and lime granita.
"The most striking thing about Alex's food—about Alex in general in fact—is the way it manages to delight and provoke at the same time. This dish is a perfect example of his ability to walk that line," says F&W Restaurant Editor Jordana Rothman, who co-wrote Stupak's cookbook, Tacos: Recipes and Provocations.
Not all the avocado desserts we've seen take the fruit's shape. At Estrella in L.A., chef Dakota Weiss is serving an avocado semifreddo, a frozen mousse of sorts, on top of honey pound cake with strawberries and bee pollen.
We also saw that gourmet chocolate shop Compartés recently released a California avocado chocolate bar. The specialty chocolate purveyor worked with the California Avocado Commission to create a white chocolate filled with avocado.
So while we doubt we've seen the end of Instagram-driven avocado creations, it's clear that chefy avocado desserts are on the rise.