This article originally appeared on MUNCHIES.
When we turned the corner on 2016, most of us were pretty relieved, perhaps naively assuming that 2017 would be way cooler. It was not. 2017 has, by any measure, been a very strange turn around the sun—and, for some reason, avocados were a part of that weirdness.
Was the brunch fruit able to rise gracefully above all the absurdity and have its moment of glory? Or, was the avocado very embodiment of a consumer culture spinning away from its once-solid core and being mashed into a guacamole of chaos, confusion, and pop culture absurdity?
Who knows? We don’t. But if we take a look back at some of the avocado stories from the last year, there’s no denying that they were as polarizing as anything else out there and occupied a lot of space in people’s minds. Maybe you can figure out what the cultural significance of the avocado was in 2017.
The popularity of avocados is hardly a recent phenomenon, but when Shawn Harris, a woman deemed “the Bill Gates of avocados,” invested $5.8 million into Europe’s first all-avocado restaurant, The Avocado Show in Amsterdam, she made it clear that she had plans for global avocado franchise domination. We'll see what 2018 has in store.
2017 being what it is led some restaurants to go to the other extreme. Like Firedog in London, which took to banning avocados straight up because of their perceived basicness, removing them from their breakfast and brunch menus in a bold act of resistance.
Speaking of basicness, nothing screams “millennial gimmick” quite like a latte served in a fucking avocado peel. We love avocados as much as the next food publication, but one Australian cafe went so far over the line with their “avolatte” that even the Merriam-Webster Dictionary had to get involved. Enough said.
One of the more shocking realizations about the avocado this year was just how many humans accidentally cut open their hands with knives when they’re prepping the fruit. The numbers are staggering and the carnage is real, so always respect the avocado.
In 2017, avocados being stolen from farmers and sold on Facebook became a thing, of course.
Finally, what “Year in Avocados” roundup would be complete without Pizza Rat’s less famous but more healthy counterpart Avocado Rat, the rambunctious Brooklyn rodent who scurries beneath a subway platform after scoring a huge piece of sweet, sweet avo?
Like Sisyphus with his rock, Avocado Rat carries his oversized load not like a burden, but like a prize and reminds us that no matter how absurd things get, we can always find beauty in the baggage that we carry with us, no matter how heavy it is, which is an important thing to remember at the end of this bizarre year. Thanks, Avocado Rat!