The trend looks like it started, as most things do nowadays, on TikTok.
There are quite a few videos of the dish on the platform, but creator Anna Paul’s has now been viewed over 13 million times and has received more than 14,000 comments. Many other creators have stitched, duet-ed, green-screened, or otherwise mentioned Paul’s video and tried the dish themselves.
Some weren’t impressed with the aesthetic. It is, after all, just a bowl of milky avocados and some ice. “It looks like absolute shit,” said one TikToker, who ended up blending the ingredients and liking it better that way. There’s also the gum-numbing feeling a lot of people get from just the thought of chewing ice. “I think I need to go to the dentist,” said one TikTok user after trying to bite an ice cube from her avocado bowl, which she continued to eat anyway. For the record, you don’t have to eat the ice. It can just be there to make the dish cold. While it may not be for everyone, many users liked the simple combination right away. “100/10,” one said.
In the Philippines, this dessert is a staple. It’s basically avocados, milk, and ice every time, but every household has its own way of preparing it. Some use evaporated milk, others powdered. If the milk isn’t sweet enough or the avocado is less-than-perfect, some also add sugar or some sort of sweetener. Some blend the whole thing into a smoothie and many use crushed ice instead of cubes (which would make the ice easier to chew, if you wanted to do that). Those with more time on their hands turn the blend into ice pops—a great way to beat the Philippine heat. No matter how you make it, it tends to taste the same: sweet, creamy, and avocado-y. What did you expect?
Of course, enjoying avocados this way is not exclusive to the Philippines. People from other countries, like Vietnam, enjoy their avos sweet and cold, too. There’s also avocado ice cream all around the world.
Knowing that avocado desserts are pretty common in Asia, it’s kind of funny that the concept of sweetened avocado is suddenly turning into such a trend around the world. Avocados are technically berries, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see them in sweets. But with savory dishes like california rolls, guacamole, avocado toast, and other similar recipes in the spotlight, an avocado dish that’s more like a dessert is understandably intriguing to those who did not grow up with it.
A similar thing happened with ube, or purple yam, a few years ago. A classic dessert in the Philippines and other parts of Asia, it only recently became trendy in the West. In 2017, it was called “the new matcha” and now there are ube donuts, ube pancakes, and even ube lattes.
At the end of the day, however, whatever food you like comes down to, well, your personal taste. If you like it, great. If you don’t, then you avoca-don’t. We can’t say whether or not this avocado dessert will become more popular than avocado toast. But in many parts of the Philippines, at least, it already is.
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