It is time to ban the avocado, to protect people from themselves. Apparently inexperienced home-cooks are maiming themselves while making guacamole and ceviche.
In fact, “avocado hand” has become so common that doctors at the St. Thomas hospital in London reportedly ready themselves for a “post-brunch surge” of avocado-related injuries on Saturday afternoons. One particular surgeon at the city’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital says he stitches up an average of four “avocado hands” per week.
“People do not anticipate that the avocados they buy can be very ripe and there is minimal understanding of how to handle them,” said Simon Eccles, a plastic surgeon and the former president of plastic surgery with the Royal Society of Medicine, to the Times.
Eccles isn’t just dealing with minor cuts and scratches, either. The Independent reports that amateur cooks have sliced their hands badly enough to require surgery. And other times, “avocado hand” has led to serious nerve damage.
Of course any potentially dangerous situation requires a Government solution: Warning Labels!
The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, for example, has called for warning labels to be affixed directly to the skin of the fruit — kind of like a PLU sticker — along with instructions for slicing them up.
The safest way to do this, the site notes, is to lay the avocado horizontally on a flat surface, place a hand on top of it, and slice into the fruit horizontally, twisting the avocado around until its separated into halves. Then, to remove the pit, wrap the fruit in a heavy towel, place it on a sturdy countertop, chop down into the pit so it’s stuck in the blade, and twist to remove.
I spent a while on YouTube, looking for a video depicting said horizontal technique. No luck. While I agree that holding one in hand while slicing is proably not advisable, I would argue that horizontal grip and slicing is not something every novice cook practices. I don’t eat avocado often, but when I do I do it this way:
Since this story originates in the UK, and it is only a matter of time until they succeed in banning knives entirely and people are reduced to using this technique:
Or maybe they will force everyone to use this goofy thing.