The Real Reason People Are Obsessed With Avocado Toast

Is avocado toast the equivalent to the 1983 Cabbage Patch Kid doll craze — in one year, out the next? Sure, it's delicious, but avocado toast at some restaurants comes with a hefty price tag. In New York, the Grand Salon at the Baccarat Hotel, sells its avocado toast for $26 a plate (via Card Cruncher). The chef at Burnt Crumbs in Huntington Beach, California came up with $100 version of the toast, containing mashed avocado, white truffles, butter-poached lobster, and gold flakes (via The Daily Meal). That's a lot of dollars when you consider a loaf of bread and an avocado will likely only set you back $5. And imagine this: In May 2019, there were at least 1.2 million hashtags on Instagram devoted to this dish. So why are people so obsessed with a food that has been called basic and bland (via Time Out)? 

And fair or not, the simple plate of toast paired with what some call nature's butter is most commonly associated with the millennial generation and their penchant for spending lots of money on expensive foods (via Financial Samurai). But regardless, it does beg the question: Why is avocado toast so popular?

Avocado toast's popularity is tied to an increased focus on wellness

First, we need to understand where avocado toast originated. Global food critic Besha Rodell wrote for Eater in 2016, "Avocado toast is a 100 percent Australian invention, insofar as any one ingredient on a piece of bread can be." She goes on to equate it to being like Vegemite, in how ubiquitous a spread it is. Yet, Taste Cooking notes that, according to an 1843 dispatch from the British Virgin Island, Tortola, "the sharp-set" included "the fine avocado pear called among the military's subaltern butter," which they ate on "common island loaf." Moreover, people from Cuba and Mexico also say they've been eating avocado on toast forever. But it is suggested that regardless of who invented the dish, its rise to fame is tied to the wellness movement that is a direct response to too many processed foods.

There are plenty of people who agree that avocado toast is indeed tied to our world's increased focus on wellness. In the book Signature Dishes that Matter, Christine Muhlke wrote of avocado toast, "Within a few short years, variations on this virtuous-seeming yet indulgent (and Instagrammable) dish made it the symbol of the wellness movement, a no-recipe recipe that encapsulates a lifestyle of sun, sea, and breakfast whenever you wish."

Whatever the reason is for the popularity of avocado toast, it isn't slowing down, so jump on the band wagon and enjoy.