Things Which Are Not Good Even When Famous Chefs Say They Are

Avocado Ice Cream.


I love avocados.  Unreservedly love them.  I make guacamole every week or so, throw avocados into salads, salsas, relishes, casseroles, gloopy dishes of leftovers, anything.  I’ve never met an avocado I didn’t like. 

Until now.

There’s a new ice cream cookbook out this year with which I’ve had tremendous success.  Every recipe I’ve tried (especially the chocolate ice cream recipe) has been, if not earth-shattering (though many of them were), at least Extremely Excellent.  I’ve churned my way through almost half of the ice creams, sorbets and granitas and even dabbled among the toppings with nary a failure. 

Now, though–now I have been arrested by the aforementioned Avocado Ice Cream.

Some of you may wonder why on earth anyone would use avocados in sweet applications anyway.  And it’s true; in America they’re mostly used in savory ways.  I have it on good authority, however, that in the South and Middle American countries where they  grow, avocados are used as what they really are–a fruit.  Avocado milk-shakes are apparently one of the most popular ways of eating the things, period–guacamole notwithstanding.

AND, it must be admitted–I’ve made an avocado dessert before.  More than a year ago I made a chocolate-espresso-avocado mousse.  It was quite good.  The texture was creamy and as smooth as butter; the flavor was more chocolately than unadulterated chocolate–presumably the fat content of the avocado heightened the richness and aroma.  The color was a little grey-ish, but it light of its other, more positive attributes, the dish was counted as a success.  I knew then about avocado ice cream and avocado milkshakes–I’d even been planning to make one of those before I tried the avocado-chocolate combination.  Somehow I didn’t, though, until this year.

So.  I made avocado ice cream.  It’s really very simple: you blend the ripe avocados into cream and/or milk and/or sour cream, add sweetener, lime juice, a little salt, and you’re done.  Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker and you have avocado ice cream.

The problem, though, with the avocado ice cream that you have (or at least with the avocado ice cream that I have) is that it tastes bad.  It’s funky and off and even kind of, well, rancid.  It tases faintly of the smell of nuts gone bad, away in a forgotten cupboard.  It’s not so bad that it can’t be eaten, but frankly, I can’t figure out why anyone would want to make this. 

I tasted each of the ingredients individually, while I was making it–each one tasted fine.  In was only in combination that the unfortunate, dank overtones appeared.  They were present in the unfrozen mixture–I tasted it and thought: “Somehow this will be different when frozen, surely!”  Alas, no.  It stayed just as it was–faintly wrong, perplexingly dubious.  Off.

Avocados, though, are expensive.  So we ate all of it, gradually working through the batch as the week went on.  I made a spiced ginger syrup to pour over the top, which obscured the odd flavor somewhat, but I can’t see making a dish that I’d know I’d have to work to disguise.

I will definitely not make avocado ice cream again.  The chocolate-espresso-avocado mousse?  Maybe.  I may go back to just eating guacamole.

Published in: on November 30, 2007 at 9:53 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The ice cream book I’ve got (which has occasionally led me astray as well) recommends using avocado ice cream to adorn gazpacho soup. Honestly, I think it’s the only time I would think of trying the stuff.

    (Although I have, in a moment of brash machismo, ordered an avocado milkshake. It was surprisingly not bad. It wasn’t really great, either, just kind of “there”. Cold and sugary and just a little bit avocadoey.)

  2. I would have taken “there.” And there was a lot of lime added–enough that it almost should have been _lime_ ice cream. Unfortunately, though, the results were just gruk-like.

  3. Your lack of success with the avocado ice cream might have been because you left out the cayenne pepper! The combination of hot on your tongue, cool in your mouth avocado ice slowly melting into the gazpacho is magical. Try it again…

  4. I might well try it again for a savory garnish, but I doubt I’ll ever be convinced to make it as a sweet.

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