Article by: Hari Yellina
This season, a single avocado variety has been given its own festival to raise awareness and consumption. However, there were no music tents or showbags; instead, a specially customised cuisine including Shepard avocados was served. The “For the Love of Shepard Avocado Festival,” which took place from March 14 to 27, was a collaboration between Australian Avocados and Cuckoo Callay, a historic Sydney café, to create a limited-edition menu to commemorate the start of Shepard avocado season. Pureprofile conducted a survey of 1000 Australians in February this year on behalf of Australian Avocados, and found that 69% of them were unaware of the benefits of Shepard avocados.
The Shepard avocado is one of the most popular varieties in Australia, and it has a nutty flavour and is less likely to oxidise or discolour once cut open. From February to April, the Shepard season is in full swing. According to the study, 66% of respondents said they would try to make an avocado recipe from a cafe, restaurant, or culinary publication at home. Respondents also expressed an interest in experimenting with Shepard avocados to make sweet treats such as smoothies (27 percent), fudge brownies (25 percent), chocolate mousse (25 percent), and caramelised avocado pancakes (25 percent) (21pc). In order to further inspire home kitchen innovation, Cuckoo Callay also prepared a digital step-by-step cooking guide.
Gillian Reilly, Hort Innovation’s head of consumer marketing, said Shepard avocados were amazing. “They have a lovely silky yet firm texture and a nutty flavour that allows for unlimited experimentation,” Ms Reilly remarked. “Australians have been missing out on the cafe scene, which is a significant part of our culture.” “We’re celebrating taste and camaraderie this Shepard season, which is something Australia excels at.” Shepard avocados, according to Cuckoo Callay chief chef Oliver Hughes, may be used in both savoury and sweet dishes. Mr Hughes said, “So we’ve been able to make some wonderful and tasty dishes with a twist.”
Aussies who love avocados are urged to post images and videos of their favourite Shepard avocado dishes to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags @AustralianAvocados and @CuckooCallay.