Oh yes. You’re seeing it correctly–that is an avocado drizzled with sweetened condensed milk. I HAD to try it after reading about avocados in the current issue of Saveur Magazine. In her article, Andrea Nguyen (who also writes a wonderful article on Hmong farmers in California’s Central Valley in the same issue) begins with a mention about spending a childhood eating avocados prepared with the sweet dressing. Immediately, I did a doubletake (as much as one can do a doubletake while reading): WHAT?!
“…I invariable arrive home an avocado lighter than when I left the market, having sliced one open on the way and eaten it right out of the skin with a spoon.
That’s how my dad…taught me to eat this luxurious fruit. I remember watching him after dinner, when I was a kid, as he halved a ripe avocado, removed its slippery pit, and drizzled sweetened condensed milk into the cavity where the pit used to be. Then he’d hand the halves to me and my siblings, and we’d dig in, savoring one sweet, creamy bite after another.”
Ohhhhh. I nearly moaned. Nguyen made the combination sound so delicious, I vowed to put avocados on my next grocery list. And so I did. Immediately. Even though I couldn’t imagine avocados in anything but savory dishes (think: guacamole, or slathered on a thick chunk of bread). Okay, maybe ice cream.
You don’t need directions on how to make this–I sliced an avocado in half and proceeded to drizzle. If I didn’t have to take a picture for this blog, I would have immediately dug in with a spoon and not gotten my cutting board all sticky with sweetened condensed milk (really, is there anything that DOESN’T taste good with that stuff?).
I paused a second, staring at the pale green and yellow meat of the avocado, rapidly disappearing under the spreading sweet syrup, hoping for the best, dug in with my spoon, and took a bite.
The concoction really threw my tastebuds for a loop: it was good! Not that I was expecting it to be horrible (I was expecting it to be good), but I just had no idea how it would taste. Though I have spent my entire life eating avocados and sweetened condensed milk (but not together), the taste was entirely unique. The milk brings out the nuttiness of the avocados, and the creamy fruit complements the dressing so I really felt like I was eating a dessert.
It was so bizarre. But bizarrely good!
I ate the entire half of the avocado, finding myself liking the food more and more with each bite. (They say all you have to do is eat a food three times and then you like it).
In hindsight, I’m not sure why I’m so surprised–we Koreans love to drizzle sugar on sliced tomatoes (also with a great reputation for savory dishes and not so much dessert) and serve it as an after-meal “dessert” type dish. This tomato/sugar combination is still a little guilty pleasure of mine, and the main way in which tomatoes disappear off our kitchen table.
Afterwards, I googled for the avocado sweetened condensed milk dish. It is evidently a common food in Southeast Asia–and if you find yourself liking this flavor and texture combination, you can even make yourself an avocado shake, as featured on Andrea Nguyen’s (yes, the same person who wrote the Saveur article on avocados) Viet World Kitchen, a blog I was happy to find today.