The Blue Room took serious umbrage to the latest Sunday Age column from Sam de Brito where he savagely attacked, of all things, the av. Here is the Blue Room’s rebuttal of his nonsensical assertions.
Why pick on avs? I love avs. I know perhaps they’re not the most flavoursome item you can place in your mouth – but I find them, well, sensual. There is the texture of this de Brito maligned fruit as well as its subtlety that appeals to me. It doesn’t hit your taste buds with a sledgehammer unlike some other fruits I could mention. It has a lush unctuousness that I consider most rewarding – slightly oily, somewhat, dare I say it, even sleazy. And it is bit of an elusive strumpet as well. As my culinary-savvy Darling Loving Partner points out, it is only with gentle prodding to its bottom region can one tell if it is ripeness is fully fledged for the plate. There is a sort of tingling joy when divesting it of its outer covering, followed by the culminating climax of the insertion of a knife point to pluck its perfectly formed, hard central core out for disposal. No, to me the av is the queen of fruit, even if its reputation has been sullied by being associated with the word ‘smashed’ on the carte du jour of numerous eateries of hipster persuasion!
De Brito thunders it’s ‘…the perfect food for the mediocre.’ being so bland and diffident in its nature. He aligns it with salmon and sauvignon blanc as the other refuges for the unfulfilled, both of which this punter also takes immeasurable pleasure in. So what if the av’s name, in Aztec, means that sac dangling beneath the male sex organ To me it is almost aphrodisiacal, sharing its virtues with with a plump olive or briny oyster.
As far as it being the food of choice for those who have failed to shine in life, I’ll let you know, young Sam, that I am perfectly comfortable with what I have and haven’t achieved in all aspects of life – my relationships; my former vocation; my capacity to earn – too often the sole measurement; in my artistic and sporting endeavours. And yes Mr de Brito – I too drive a white Mazda. I find it quite zippy.
I would be quite happy to exist, for the remainder of my days, on avocados and Atlantic salmon, all washed down with spritely sav blancs. I have no wish to be Richard Branson with his squillions and women hanging off every appendage, if that is an example of being ‘non-mediocre’. Nor can I abide watching tennis – although I once played it to a mediocre level. I have never, in my life, watched an episode of ‘Rove’. And, back in the day, I was quite fond of ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ – book and film. So there!
And no, Sam de Brito – you haven’t slighted me in the least. I’ll continue to read your Sunday column in the Age religiously, even if you’re becoming increasingly curmudgeonly as the years pass. And as for being addicted to the wanton av, I am also partial to a that sluttish coquette of fruits that leaves nothing to the imagination, the mango. Am I redeemed?
Here follows said column:-
Mediocrity – learn to rejoice in it – March 02, 2014 – Sam de Brito
One of life’s great challenges is coming to terms with mediocrity. When you’re young, you kid yourself recognition of your genius lies just ahead. Then, one day, you crash into the hard shell of your limitations and it dawns you’re not Nietzsche or Nabokov; you’re not even Noel Gallagher.
Many of us subsequently drink a lot or take up cycling. Others search for comfort in food. It’s a very common experience, one I believe has directly resulted in the popularity of the avocado.
The avocado is the perfect food for the mediocre, an ancient Central American fruit tasting like the bland love child of the green pea, almond and potato. Marketers have positioned it as the no-guilt-inoffensive-butter-substitute-cum-wonder-food and the pedestrian have duly convinced themselves they adore it.
That’s the insidious nature of the avocado. People tell themselves they love it, like they do couscous, professional tennis and Rove McManus. Like? Sure. Love? I think not. People love fried chicken and oral sex.
I also like avocado but I’m supremely mediocre. I get a thrill using my new Dustbuster. I cried reading The Bridges of Madison County. I drive a Mazda. It’s white.
Compare your approach to an avocado with the equally large-seeded mango. A person slices and scrapes an avocado like they’re doing colon surgery. It’s clinical. Emotionless. A mango, however, requires passion, bare hands, mess, indignity, pulp in your teeth.
Avocados are just so … safe.
Its mediocre relative in the fish world is salmon. No one scoffs its blushing flesh and says, ”That’s the best meal I’ve ever had!’
Like the avocado, salmon is a safe place for the mediocre to shelter. It’s the polar opposite of risk-taking. Navy SEALs don’t eat salmon. Richard Branson loathes avocado. And neither drink sauvignon blanc. Sav blanc is the wine, of course, that goes perfectly with salmon; it brings out the nuttiness in avocado. It’s the varietal no one feels strongly about. People have an opinion about chardonnay or riesling but sauvignon blanc? You top up from different bottles. It’s acceptable to drink it with ice.
If you recognise yourself in any of these fancies, don’t take it as a slight. We mediocre are a significant force in the world today. We might lack balls, but we’ve also managed to castrate a grape which takes its name from the French word for ”wild”, a fish that jumps up waterfalls and a Neolithic fruit whose Aztec name means ”testicle”.
That’s gotta count for something.