When a friend told me recently, albeit half jokingly, that she wanted to open a restaurant where everything would feature avocados, I was one hundred percent behind her. It might not happen anytime soon, unfortunately, but dear sweet baby Jesus I hope it happens sometime in my lifetime, cause I LOVE AVOCADOS.
I love thick wedges as a side with rice and beans, and creamy slices stuffed in my sandwiches. Fresh-made guacamole makes me go batty, and even when it’s just plain and being scooped out of its shell with a spoon (something that always gets a “What are you eating??” from someone around me), I LOVE avocados.
So you can imagine what happened when I read about a new Cuban luncheonette/ 24-hour diner named Coppelia that recently opened and had avocado ice cream on their dessert menu. My mouth started to water and I could just feel the crazy look in my eye. The antsy dance (you know, like when you really need to pee) may have been involved.
Yea sure, there were other things to eat at Coppelia including ropa vieja, Cuban sandwiches, fried yucca and all sorts of other staples, but I’ll be honest, being from Miami (i.e. Northern Cuba) I’m kind of picky about my Cuban food. I like it cheap, abundant, and usually served by a little old woman with an attitude. It’s just part of the experience. So yes, I had dinner there, and yes, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything to write home about… especially when home is Miami.
But the dessert, the whole reason I went to Coppelia, was great. I’m not sure how Cuban avocado ice cream is, but I don’t really care either. I LOVE them, remember? And here was a whole dessert centered around it! The actual ice cream, a pale yellow-green color similar to the very inside of an avocado, the part closest to the pit, was buttery and smooth, almost the same consistency of a perfectly ripened avocado. The flavor, which I think is what would worry most people (though definitely not me) was much more subtle and delicate, so that really it was more of an avocado aftertaste that was left lingering on the tongue. To play up the avocado’s sweet notes, a couple dollops of fluffy whipped cream made it seem more dessert-like while crumbled panela, a hard, molasses-like, unrefined cane sugar, added a nice little crunch amongst all the soft sweetness. And finally, just to bring out a tiny bit of the avocado’s other, less desserty flavors, coarse Maldon salt and a few drops of lime juice. Sweet, avocado deliciousness.
If my friend ever opens her avocado eatery I’ll root hard for an ice cream dessert like Coppelia’s. And hopefully, as one of her most ardent supporters in her avocado endeavors, that’ll mean there will always be a table with my name on it.