Occasionally, a new product or innovation appears that leads us to ask: have we, as a species, gone too far?
This week, InStyle shared a video of one such morally-dubious concoction on their Facebook page. It is a substance at once intriguing and off-putting, provocative and unsettling, familiar, yet profoundly strange. It is avocado pickles. “You’ll try them and you’ll like them!” the captions says, which is exactly what my mom used to say when forcing me to eat something she knew I wouldn’t like.
The video opens with a shot of avocados in a mason jar. “This is nice,” you think to yourself, blissfully unaware of the chaos to come, “Avocados are delicious, and mason jars are cute! I will enjoy this video.”
Then suddenly, everything changes.
An unseen hand starts pouring some mysterious blend of seeds and chilies over your avocados (“No, stop!” you scream, “my babies! My sweet avocado babies!”) and what was once a mason jar of your favorite gooey, unctuous fruit now looks like vaguely like one of those formaldehyde jars that movie villains use to store and display medical oddities. The video says “Avocado Pickles” up in the corner as some sort of explanation, even though those are two words that feel like they objectively shouldn’t go together, like “tuna candy” or “bad dog”.
You try to compose yourself even though you feel disoriented and scared. Onscreen, the same hands from before pour white vinegar, water, salt, sugar, mustard seeds, peppercorn, and chile de arbol into a saucepan and stir. Then they cut up one of your beloved avocados, but this time you’re not placated, because you know what’s coming. “Those flavors don’t work!” you sob. “Please stop!”*
(*It is worth nothing that I have not, in fact, tried the pickled avocados in question. ONWARD.)
You watch through tears as they pour the pickling juice onto your sweet babies, and then tell you to keep them in the fridge for at least an hour, and store them for up to one month — as if you could last a whole month knowing what horrors were being perpetrated on avocados in your own home.
As horrifying as I believe this practice to be, according to the video’s Facebook comments, I am in the minority. “My mind is blown!!!!!! Will definitely be trying this soon!” one woman wrote.
Look, I’m a fairly open-minded avocado fan. I can get behind avocado lattes, avocado pies, and avocado face masks, even avocado burger buns, even though those seem messy and impractical. But perhaps there will come a time when society must draw the line. And perhaps that line should be at avocado pickles.