Colombia is the third-largest producer of avocados in the world. So why are locals so baffled by the trendy new avocado dishes popping up throughout their country?
Lisa Ramírez, a 27-year-old who frequents Azahar Coffee, a shop located in a wealthy area of Colombia’s capital, Bogota, said she was shocked when she first saw the place’s menu.
“When I first saw the avocado toast with eggs, it was really weird,” said Ramírez, who spoke to Huffington Post. “We usually use the avocado for lunch and we eat it only with salt. For me, it’s really strange that people now are starting to eat it in this way with toast.”
While avocados remain a central part of Colombians' diet, they have not dominated the menus of cafes, such as Azahar Coffee, until recently.
While perplexed by the trend, Ramírez recognizes it is a good thing for the country's economy. Between 2010 and 2015, Colombia’s exports of Hass avocados rose by more than 150 percent.
Another trendy, avocado-themed cafe is Lavocaderia, located in the El Poblado district, known for being the “gringo” part of Medellin. This area boomed in the 1990s, when the elite fled the violence of the city center.
Lavocaderia opened only three months ago, but typically has a line of no less than 20 people waiting to get in at any time. “We wanted to adapt to the Colombian trend and take into account Colombian cuisine,” said Lavocaderia’s owner, Ximena Hoyos.
Every item on Lavocaderia’s menu sticks avocado in it somewhere. Their menu ranges from smoothies to cocktails to pancakes to burgers.
In Colombia’s more traditional south, there was a mixed reaction to the rise of these cafes.
While some locals said they are interested and like going to these cafes, others described the trend as "weird."
“It is weird because avocado is a really normal food for us," said a Colombian who asked to remain anonymous. "It’s really common. So to see foreigners want to go to a place dedicated only [to] avocado … I’m not sure I understand the point.”