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Ace Your Handheld Game with Avocados

Ace Your Handheld Game with Avocados

Posted January 31, 2018

Chefs, operators find avocados lend themselves to a wide variety of uses, preparations.

Flavorful, healthy and versatile, Mexican avocados are the only source of fresh avocados all year round, helping chefs and operators create distinctive dishes and increase average checks. A few telling points:

  • Consumers say that they would be willing to pay an average of $1.81 more for items that use fresh avocado.
  • Avocados appear on 45 percent of U.S. menus, and they’re continuing to grow – up 17 percent over the past four years.
  • Avocados synch with the rising consumer interest in plant-based dining.
  • 67 percent of consumers believe fresh avocados increase a menu’s overall quality.

While avocados are the perfect ingredient to perk up a growing number of soups, salads, main courses, desserts, smoothies and more, they present the most potential to plus up sandwiches and other handheld foods. More than 85 percent of consumers eat a sandwich for lunch at least once per month and over three-fourths eat at least one per week, according to Technomic.

Delicious tips to incorporate more avocado inspiration into your menu all-year round.

Enriching sauces Add richness and flavor to a sauce by whisking in ripe avocado “just as the French do with butter,” says Robert Del Grande, executive chef and owner of Cafe Annie and Bar Annie in Houston.

Flavorful companions The rich but subtle flavor of avocados makes them perfect partners for many other ingredients. That’s why more operators are showcasing them in creative Italian, Japanese and French dishes as well as traditional Mexican favorites. Examples of the latter are the imaginative guacamole riffs at El Vez in Philadelphia. They include Bazooka Limon, which is enlivened with goat cheese, chile flakes, pistachios and roasted tomato and Indian Red Lopez, which sports spicy crab.

Handheld attractions Avocados also star in innovative handheld items like the Open Face Shrimp Quesadilla at El Vez. It is garnished with a vivid green espuma, or foam, made by blending avocado, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice and milk into a froth. “It has a beautiful, light, ethereal texture and a pleasing balance of richness, spice and acidity,” says Executive Chef Dave Conn.

An avocado education
The key to unlocking the potential of the almighty avocado is understanding ripening, storage, nutrition and usage. Avocados From Mexico has created Avocado University, a training curriculum for foodservice industry professionals. Classes for culinary and foodservice professionals started in January 2018 at the recently opened state-of-the-art culinary innovation center in Irving, Texas. Chefs and registered dietitians will be able to earn continuing education credits by attending seminars there. Culinary demonstrations, video/photoshoots and webinars will also be offered.

With their rich flavor, vibrant color and creamy texture, avocados enhance the appeal of everything from handheld items to global cuisines to beloved Mexican favorites. That’s why avocados are key players on some of today’s most marketable menus.

1. 2016 Technomic, Inc., Patron Report, Avocados From Mexico.
2. 2016 Technomic,Patron Report.
3. 2016 Technomic,Inc., Prepared Sandwich Category Report, Avocados From Mexico.

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