One of the buzzwords most heard around campus this past week has been avocado, in light of a recent gift by the parent of a freshman Feb of 10,000 pounds of Ettinger avocados to Middlebury College dining services. As the avocados made their first appearances in the dining halls last week, students were shocked and awed at the unexpected presence of such an exotic food alongside our normal bananas, oranges and apples. Word spread like wildfire, and the dining halls became new sites of expectation and anticipation.  And as the myth of the avocados spread, so did rumors of their origin. Many speculated as the to the exact quantity of avocados that Middlebury was now in possession of—5 tons, 20,000 avocados, an entire truckload full?—yet their exact numbers and source remained something of legend.

Yesterday, Middlebury Magazine published an article online detailing the exact quantity and source of the gift of the avocados, including quotes from the chefs of our three dining halls on campus who were tasked with coming up with creative menus to make use of this windfall.  Indeed, over the past week, the dining halls have been replete with creative dishes featuring avocado, and every trip to the dining hall offers another opportunity to discover the new, and perhaps unexpected, ways that the avocado has been implemented into our daily meals. Over the past week, I have tried avocado coconut ice cream, avocado lime cheesecake, avocado salad, grilled avocado with pineapple relish, and of course, guacamole. Moreover, these dinosaur egg shaped vegetables have been showing up in surprising locations all across campus. I’ve discovered several in my suite this week, and students can be seen stashing one in their backpack to be eaten later as a snack.

All in all, the avocado has overtaken Middlebury, and from the sound of it, we’ll be eating them for a long time to come. So, if you’re going to be visiting Middlebury in the next couple of weeks, or if you’re coming to campus next week as part of Preview Days, be sure to look out for these creative additions in Ross, Proctor and Atwater! Guacamole forever!

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