Texans tend to eat a lot of avocados and always have — and not just on avocado toast, the otherwise innocuous brunch item that has come to define the millennial diet (rather unfairly, in this millennial’s opinion). Avocados are an essential ingredient in some of our favorite things, like guacamole and tacos, so presumably many of us know how to slice the Mexican fruit safely.
Across the pond in Britain, however, there is apparently a new health issue called ‘avocado hands,’ according to Slate, which led to a British grocer’s decision to sell the avocado without its large pit. The avocado alternative is only available in the U.K., at least for now.
And it sounds like it might really be necessary there.
“In May, the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons issued a warning for ‘avocado hands,’ which is the result of amateur cooks stabbing and slashing their hands when attempting to slice an avocado,” according to Slate. “The St. Thomas Hospital in the U.K. even claims they experience a ‘post-brunch surge’ of such cases on Saturdays.”
OK, so maybe people really do eat a lot of avocado toast.
In any case, the scourge of avocado hands led British supermarket chain Marks and Spencer to start selling what’s called a “cocktail avocado” with softer skin and no pit. It’s the fruit of an un-pollinated avocado blossom that grows without a seed, and it’s only available in December, grown in Spain and typically saved for the chefs of top restaurants in Paris, according to Slate.
This cocktail avocado is so user-friendly that people can eat it skin and all. They don’t have to use a knife at all if they don’t want to; another option is to peel one end and squeeze out the middle.
Which is great. I am the last person who is going to complain about having something safer and more efficient to eat. I avoid eating cherries thanks to the haunting memory of nearly choking on a cherry seed as a kid, OK. But if I can safely slice open an avocado — I, the most inept person in the kitchen, as my family will readily tell you — then I think it’s simply a matter of learning how, not buying rare seedless fruits.
Especially because they’re in such limited supply, as Marks and Spencer noted on Instagram. Here’s my avocado-cutting tip: If an avocado is ready to eat (which you can tell by how it feels in your hand, giving just a little to pressure), then you should be able to cut into it (slowly, carefully) with a butter knife.
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