Izzy Harris writes about London’s latest millenial treat
Well here it is, the long awaited ‘Don’t Believe the Hype’ column. You didn’t ask for it, therefore you got it.
What is ‘Don’t believe the Hype’ all about you ask? How is this column going to expand your knowledge, awaken your curiosity and enhance your university experience? How will this column inspire you, excite you, and stimulate your mind and senses? The short answer is, it won’t. If you’re looking for a ground-breaking investigation, a cutting edge expose or a profound cultural analysis, you can click off now.
But if you’re looking for some brutally honest opinions on London’s most hyped up trends, welcome, because you’re in the right place. Have you been wondering if that pink latte you’ve been seeing all over Instagram is as good as it looks? Or if that rainbow bagel trending on twitter actually tastes good? Or if that underground Christmas themed bar that’s been plastered all over Facebook is value for money? Then buckle up and get ready to crack open a cold one, as we explore if the trendiest trends in London are really worth the hype.
For ‘Don’t Believe the Hype’s maiden voyage with Pi Media, I wanted to review something that we could all relate to; something that every student would look at and think ‘now THAT is something I need to get my grubby mitts on’. So mid-lecture I launched into some intensive research in an attempt to find the ultimate millennial trend. And then I found it. The Avocado Gelato and the Pumpkin Spice Ice.
Created and sold in Snowflake, a gelato parlour in Selfridges, the Avocado Gelato, nicknamed the ‘Avo-lato’, is nothing short of a millennials dream. This green treat also comes in the shape of the fruit, complete with a peanut butter gelato pit slap-bang in the middle. And you bet your bottom dollar this avocado gelato will get more likes on Instagram than you. Why? Because it also happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free and of course, vegan. As if this ice cold snack wasn’t millennial enough, it’s also 100% biodegradable, being served in a real avocado skin on a bamboo tray. Am I av’ing a laugh? Not today friends, not today.
And it doesn’t stop there. As if one bandwagon wasn’t enough, this luxury gelato house has hurled itself into Pumpkin Spice mania. If you thought Pumpkin Spice lattes brought peak autumn aesthetics, you were wrong, because Snowflake is serving up swirls of soft serve pumpkin gelato, with clouds of whipped cream and sprinkles of gingerbread biscotti and pumpkin seeds. And before you ask, of course it’s vegan. Oh and by the way, it’s served in a real baby pumpkin. Autumn who? The question is, will our Instagram feeds be able to cope with this level of chic?
After hyping myself up on hashtags surrounding this mother of all millennial treats, I knew it was time to “avo-go” of these desserts myself. So off I went to the glittering gates of Selfridges to sample this millennial delicacy, with one millennial friend who wishes to remain anonymous as an unbiased representative voice for the student population.
Straight off the bat, you could hear it: the sound of the Instagrammers. The unmistakable ringing of shutter sounds as more than a dozen young folk snapped their snacks and argued over which filter should be applied. Then, you notice the hum of the millennial questions being thrown over the counter at tired employees, recycling the same responses to each new fresh faced customer in the line, ‘Yes I’m sure it’s vegan’ and ‘Yes, it’s definitely plastic free’.
It was a task to actually spot anyone eating the gelato, as swarms of iPhone-clutching individuals prowled round each dessert, moving swiftly, with the ease and grace of a young arctic fox as they grammed their grub, six photos taken per second.
The elegant marble seating area acted less as a place to sit and consume the products, and more as a photographic backdrop to food bloggers, clean-eating Instagrammers and social influencers: a melting pot of the social media elite. Some took the candid approach, getting friends or boyfriends to capture countless photographs of themselves, looking wistfully into the distant traffic, balancing perfect uneaten desserts in their freshly manicured hands. Others meticulously curated intricate arrangements of the dessert, next to another dessert, next to a perfect latte, next to Gucci sunglasses, next to a 1972 film camera, next to this month’s issue of Vogue. However these young things were styling their shots, the whole ordeal was a fascinating nightmare and I would wholeheartedly pay good money to witness this social phenomenon even without the gelato.
My anonymous student representative and I placed our orders: one Avo-lato and one Pumpkin Spice Ice. At this point we were both working up a sweat thinking about how our own Instagram photos would live up to the masterpieces being created a few tables over. In all honesty, the Pumpkin Spice gelato was really good. It was cinnamony, spicy, gingery, creamy and all things sugary sweet you would want from a gourmet autumnal dessert. The avocado gelato, on the other hand, was an interesting experience. If you go into the ordeal expecting to taste nothing more than 60% avocado puree bulked up with water and grape sugar, you’re in a for a nice surprise. If you’re expecting to taste something a bit nicer than 60% avocado puree bulked up with water and grape sugar, then lower your expectations and stop being a fool. We all know this bad boy looks better than he tastes, that’s why we fork out nearly a tenner for it.
What? You didn’t realise that each one of these desserts costs £9.50? I’m sorry to break it to you, but if you want to get your paws on one of these beauties, it’s going to cost you the same as precisely 33.3 Freddo chocolate bars. So now it’s time to ask yourself, would you part with a tenner just to take a killer Instagram? Maybe I did it so you don’t have to.
Now we reach the core of this extremely pressing issue: we’ve seen the gelato, we’ve tasted the gelato and we’ve watched bloggers take pictures of the gelato, but is this Pumpkin Spice and Avocado Gelato worth the hype? On this occasion, for (almost) ten Great British sweet dollar dollar bills and the privilege of being surrounded by London’s social media sweethearts, I’m going to have to say no. Don’t believe the hype.