According to Bernard Salt, you are a wastrel hipster if you order smashed avocado on toast for brunch. Wrote Salt in The Australian magazine in an opinion piece titled Moralisers, We Need You! (October 2016),
“I have seen young people order smashed avocado with crumbled feta on five-grain toasted bread at $22 a pop and more. I can afford to eat this for lunch because I am middle-aged and have raised my family. But how can young people afford to eat like this?… Twenty-two dollars several times a week could go towards a deposit on a house.”
Naturally, the op-ed raised a furor, as observed in Millennials react to Bernard Salt’s attack on smashed avo where “His words have caused millennials to spit out their soy flat whites in disgust.”
“Bernard salt can pry my smashed avocado from my cold dead hands” tweeted Simon Xmarse. “Skipped smashed avocado for breakfast this morning. Excited to buy a house next week.” responded Tony Broderick.
As a visitor from the hipster neighbourhood of Mount Pleasant in Vancouver, Canada, I have mixed feelings about this.
I’m a foreigner who really likes avocados, especially for brunch. At home it’s a treat you might see next to your eggs benny—two or three slivers of avocado alongside your heritage tomatoes and organic yams. It will not be cheap.
Here, it is a part of an admittedly expensive brunch, but that price tag includes tax, and there’s no tipping.
I admit I may be a mature hipster. But I also own an apartment with a paid-off mortgage. Does that make me a Moralizer (as Salt puts it) who is entitled to eat over-priced avocado breakfasts as I look down my nose at younger people who share my love of smashed green stuff on grainy toast?
It’s a trivial topic at first pass, but it touches on an issue that is huge to cities such as Sydney and Vancouver: housing affordability.
Hard-w0rking people can’t afford to buy a home because global market issues—foreign investment, aggressive developers, slow-moving policy-makers, and Airbnb greed—are sucking it out of their hands. These are the same hands that merely want to enjoy an open-faced vegetable sandwich.
Today I settled on a compromise: a couple of ripe, New Zealand avocados from Coles (two for $5 AUS); scooped out with a round spoon, piled on multi-grain bread moistened with Nuttelex, and sprinkled with a tasty spice mixture. A salt mixture, to be exact.
I miss out on the hipster bistro culture here in the kitchen (sorry Jared and Ruth), but I do get to defy Salt and his posse of Moralizers in my own, rebelliously East Van way.