Avocado Toast: Your New Best Trend
A snack, yes—but also A Thing
By Ed Goldman
As with most things that become A Thing in American society, I had no idea that avocado toast was A Thing until it became A Globally Challenging Thing for agriculture.
While farmers aren’t responsible for the “toast” element of this inexplicably popular concoction, they may be growing too many avocados for their own good (the farmers’ good, not the avocados’ good. This column remains vigilant about clarity—oftener than would be readily apparent).
“Australia, credited with spreading avocado on toast throughout the world, is creaking under a mountain of the green, pear-shaped fruit,” according to a recent story in the Wall Street Journal. “Farmers, in past years, had planted thousands of avocado trees to keep up with demand, which, it turns out, hasn’t grown nearly as fast as supply.”
The glut of avocados has resulted in their prices taking a nose dive (which consumers welcome, of course) but also in people becoming nauseatingly creative about what to do with the damn things. We’re talking avocado spaghetti, parfait and chocolate-avocado cupcakes.
Wait! There’s more! Pea guacamole, black ant guacamole, avocado gelato, banana avocado pudding, avocado margaritas, chocolate avocado pancakes, and avocado cheese-cake. O! would that I were making these up, dear readers.
I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised. Look at what’s happened to bacon, which isn’t even a tree fruit, in the past few years: bacon chocolate chip cookies, sundaes, vodka, and soda.
Bacon apple pie.
Avocado toast is a funny fad for me, an edible version of the Pet Rock, Chia Pet, Mood Ring and Pokémon crazes. And while neither avocados nor toast are especially exotic by themselves, I can’t help but picturing two Aussie entrepreneurs spitballing ideas late one night, trying to come up with (or piggyback onto) a new trend. Maybe the rent’s due on their Sydney Harbour-view offices and their previous Big Idea campaigns went nowhere in a hurry. I imagine the scene unfolding as follows:
OLIVER (the top male baby name in Australia in 2020): Crikey*, if we don’t create and develop a concept by morning, there goes our contract with Tik Tok.
CHARLOTTE (the top female baby name in Australia in 2020): They’re so demanding! What was so bad about our last concept? And don’t all me Crikey.
OLIVER: Black Dandruff For White Summer Suits? Beats me. Seemed both clever and needless, the true measures of a vogue.
CHARLOTTE: I also liked our Instant Water idea. Especially when you wrote the instructions on the empty can: “Just add water.” How do you think up these things?
OLIVER: Black Dandruff was in a Tom and Jerry comic book, I think. Instant Water was an early Peanuts cartoon. (Pause) Mother of Pearl*, I’m hungry! Anything in the breakroom fridge?
CHARLOTTE: There’s a lone avocado. Still soft. And a few slices of bread from Abbott’s Village Bakery**.
OLIVER: Well, we could cut up the avocado—
CHARLOTTE: And maybe toast some bread—
OLIVER: And perhaps [excitedly]—Help me out on this!—perhaps spread the avocado onto the, the—
CHARLOTTE: Toast! The toast! I hear you! And we could call it…
OLIVER: An open-faced avocado sandwich! On toast!
CHARLOTTE: What about…AVOCADO TOAST!?
OLIVER: Yes! It’s so crazy it might work!
(They high-five each other, tumble to the floor and make love, then plan a June wedding. Curtain.)
* Authentic mild Australian expletive.
** Popular Australian pastry maker.
A Weekly Blog by Virginia Varela
President, Golden Pacific Bank, a Division of SoFi Bank, Inc.
photo by Phoebe Verkouw
I wrote here last year that the world of banking is primarily and has traditionally been dominated at the top by white males. It just is and has been. I can’t cite all the statistical and historical reasons.
But I do strongly argue that it’s wrong and needs to change.
According to the American Banker, women are better represented at the CEO level of credit unions than banks of comparable asset size. For U.S. banks and credit unions with between $1 billion and $5 billion of assets, 13% of credit union CEOs are women, compared to 2% for banks, according to a Credit Union National Association study.
Personally, I feel proud, honored and grateful to be president of a federal bank, now a division of SoFi Bank, Inc., and a working executive for many years in the banking industry. But I didn’t get here without strife, hard work, and the support and mentoring of other professionals—including some white men.
Some argue that change will take time, and the trends toward women in leadership positions is on the rise. Still, in banking, I work with and observe all kinds of strong and intelligent women, many stuck in lower or mid management positions, with the talents and attitude to run a company.
Let’s give them a chance.
A diverse workforce is an innovative workplace. Men and women will inevitably have different experiences and backgrounds, which shape their approaches to business. Challenging each other and collaborating with people who think differently can foster creativity, promote innovation and lead to overall greater success in pushing organizations forward.
We women represent half the human population. It’s time for financial institutions of all types to better reflect the customers they serve at all levels, including the executives at the top.