What are the youngsters eating?
It’s not just meat, cheese, Big Macs, and French wine that have become part of the Chinese diet. Young urban Chinese are also starting to eat many of the foods that older generations never found unappetizing. Below are five such foods:
Hipsters beware: The Chinese are coming for your avocado toastslgckgc / Flickr
China is developing a taste for avocados, which is going to affect foodies around the globe — yes, and by this I largely mean hipster millennials who have already had their brunch bills increased by an ongoing avocado shortage and price hikes caused by a farmers’ strike in Mexico and a drought in California.
Avocados (鳄梨 èlí, or 牛油果 niúyóuguǒ) were first introduced into China in 1925, but it was not until recent years that the Chinese started eating them in any numbers. A report in the Financial Times in April 2017 suggested that the annual volume of avocados imported from Latin American nations to China skyrocketed from 154 tonnes to more than 25,000 tonnes in the past four years — that’s about 147 million avocados a year.
The surge is in large part due to the burgeoning health-conscious middle class, as avocados are still only available in high-end supermarkets in major Chinese cities. And just as meat eating was a status marker in earlier times, the modern middle classes view avocados as premium and fashionable.