I once had an argument with my mom in her car as she gave me a lift to college when I was 17. I can’t remember what it was about, I’m assuming nothing in particular, but my sultry response to her barks didn’t go down so well, and I was ordered to get out once the vehicle has ground from 40 mph to a halt. “Get out and walk to college!”, I think she said. Although the real quote was probably laced with far more expletives. Instead of walking to college, which would have taken me over an hour, I chose freedom, and took the 10 minute journey back home where I made myself a bacon sandwich. When my mom returned and realised what I had done her face turned puce, she stood there furious, practically foaming at my rebellion, at my giant “fuck you! I’m smarter than you!” manoeuvre which meant I could skip lessons and eat in bed all day. Since then, I’ve been a attracted to gentle anarchy. However, nowadays I’m able to achieve the same sense of thrill and rush of adrenaline by deep fried popular Instagrammable fruits to protest against the news that ‘diet’ avocados are a thing, rather than upsetting family members. I’ve become more of a kitchen activist as the years have past it would seem.
It’s a strange thing to lay into fruit for being nutritionally naughty – after all, this is FRUIT we are talking about here. The stuff that grows on trees, and that doctors recommend you eat so much of a day. I’ve lost count of the amount of people who have smugly told me that avocados are “very high in fat”, comparing the fruit (FRUIT!) to all sorts of pizzas and pastas and other devil foods. Spanish company Isla Bonita, have jumped on this ill-directed bandwagon, claiming their new Avocado Light has up to 30 per cent less fat than regular avocados. Here it is! Avocado Light! The thing no one asked for, ever! Diet avocados for your salad, guys! A brand new innovation about as needed as a chocolate fire guard.
Apologies, Mom, you’re back to being the focus of this piece once more. Mom recently bought a deep fryer, a find which she continues to be very proud of. So proud and so protective that when I decided to deep fry an avocado, after filling it with brie and coating it with crushed Doritos to give the illusion of a chicken nugget, she couldn’t help but pop her head through the kitchen door every couple of minutes to check that I was still capable of noticing when the green light had gone off. “Because that’s how you know it’s hot enough”, she’s say, disbelieving that I could have the capacity to figure that out for myself. She’d waddle over, sticking her nose over the chip shop fumes, the heat steaming up the glasses sliding down her nose, reminding me of the same intrusion into my mealtimes that I receive from fucking diet foods.
I stopped paying attention to things labelled “diet” when we started Not Plant Based. Mostly because things that are diet tend to taste like shit, and also because often times when something is made diet friendly, its “badness” has only been replaced with something equally bad for you. Aspartame in diet coke, to give one example. God knows what they’ve put in to lighten an avocado. I almost dread to think. I don’t even like to give diet products a chance to explain themselves, usually. I simply shout “NOPE” when I see them advertised on my Instagram explore pages and viciously fire my middle fingers at my email inbox when a PR reckons I should try their new sugar free, low cal, joyless bottle of kale juice.
The thing with previously struggling with binge eating, is that the thought of indulging on high fat, high sugar, deep fried foods is a terrifying one. It’s a fear that I have had to tackle head on in order to be able to deal with all the food-orientated events and situations that normal life throws at you, like birthday parties and going to the pub. I’ve managed to do this by accepting my love for so-called “junk food” and therefore relaxing around it. Sure, I can coat those strawberries in sugar, and yes I can have extra parmesan on my three cheese pasta, because the more access I have to “forbidden” foods, the less I’ll want to binge on them anyway. Before I’d see eating “unhealthily” as “stocking up”. Eating as much of the food I was scared of as possible just in case I would never allow myself to indulge on such a delight again.
It is for this reason, that once a week on a Thursday, I’m more than happy to showcase a gluttonous recipe, one dripping with grease, stuffed with cheese and riddled with sugar. I’m happy to present to you my rather experimental forays into “cooking” so that I can hopefully make you realise too that pimping your food to make it more “junky” isn’t so scary after all. Not once a week, anyway. I’m therefore more than happy to molest this avocado on your behalf. I’m good like that.
Fuck diet avocados.