Food, whether it's from our childhoods, from our travels or from our own kitchen experimentation, is often the cornerstone of memories, family and friends. It makes us feel good and brings us together.
The humble avocado, technically a fruit, has grown over the years in popularity to receive the title of ‘Superfood’, a badge it wears with pride both strongly but also humbly.
Avocados provide massive health benefits. They are a source of vitamins C, E, K, and B6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids. All things that we need in a modern diet (so I’m told), but technical jargon aside, and even more importantly, they taste good!
So good in fact, that we can’t seem to get enough of them, on our toast, in our smoothies, in our salads and with just about everything.
At Avohaven, avocados have been in our blood since (almost) forever.
In the picturesque hillside and volcanic soils of Maungatapere Mountain in Northland New Zealand, we started with a single avocado orchard. It was a retirement project for Dad until the neighbouring avocado orchard was put up for sale so we dove in boots and all!
The new orchard doubled our avocado production so, along came Fiona (my sister) and her family (the Tribe) to give Dad (and now my brother Brian) a hand.
It became a true family operation.
Several years later and practically useless when it comes to operating machinery (as well as being miles away in Auckland) I decided to embellish my love of food and turn my hand to crafting an avocado oil with all the health benefits of eating an actual avocado.
Avocado oil has been used by the cosmetics industry for many years but the oil is a refined oil (created using a chemical extraction process) and doesn’t have the taste or all the health benefits of eating an actual avocado. My vision was to join the small number of producers creating a tasty heart healthy culinary oil.
I set about researching methods of extraction and even had a go at making some oil with one of the neighbours olive presses to no success. There were a lot of laughs and multiple learnings but not an oil I was happy with. Finally, with the help of one of New Zealand’s leading avocado processing facilities we came up with AvoHaven, a truly cold-pressed oil using a centrifusion process (think industrial washing machine on spin cycle) made from avocados grown in our very own orchards.
Most of the avocados we grow are exported (sharing a little bit of New Zealand with the world) but we hold back just enough for our daily avo toast and to create avocado oil.
We start with growing Hass avocados, hand picked and ripened to the perfect level of ripeness (because the end result is only as good as the quality of the ingredients) then using the most advanced cold press technique we have created (what we think is) the perfect oil.
But I didn’t want to stop there. I set about playing with flavours to create a range of vinaigrettes (more like dressings) that are not only healthy (because they use our avocado oil) they taste good. Blended with a range of flavours, our vinaigrettes are great as dressing on salads or vegetable creations and can be used as marinades when roasting, grilling or barbecuing.
But still I wanted more.
Having our orchards means there is a never ending supply of avocados for avo toast (and we do love our avo toast). But why does the avo toast you buy in a cafe always taste better than what you make at home? We pondered this for some time and came up with our Everything Avocado seasoning range and our smoked salt range.
Two simple but versatile savoury flavour ranges to add to your avocado or just about anything you want to create.
Now with little to no effort, you too can create a cafe style avo toast experience at home, without needing to take out a second mortgage.
Whether you are flavour focused, health focused or just trying to impress someone with your culinary skills, we know you will love our products as much as we do!
Cameron & Fiona