Restaurants are also serving honest “mockamole” or eating the costs

As Quartz senior reporter Ana Campoy has reported, some restaurant owners are also being upfront about their substitutions. Chacho’s Tex-Mex restaurant in San Antonio, for instance, was offering “mockamole” on its menu. In this case, the stand-in was “a concoction of broccoli, green peas, and other green veggies.”

Others are absorbing the cost, Austin 360 recently reported. (Though one taco truck in Austin hiked the price of an added avocado slice from $1 to $2.50.)

In Los Angeles, the suggestion that a widespread scam was on prompted some spicy backlash:


To be fair, the restaurant business is tough enough without a manufactured crisis.

Avocado prices are high now, but the forecast is promising

So what’s at the root of this pitiful situation?

Avocado prices spiked this month because of the laws of the market, David Magaña, an analyst with RaboResearch in California, recently told NPR’s The Salt: “We have the highest or the strongest demand for avocados in the US, probably ever. At the same time, production of avocados has been down.”

Midsize avocados from Mexico, the kind most commonly consumed in the US, were priced at $66, wholesale, on July 19, when he spoke to the radio station. That was 91% higher than 2018 prices.

Campoy also points out that should Trump spark a trade war with Mexico, we could expect more of the same creative problem-solving by restaurateurs. In June, when Trump threatened tariffs on Mexican imports if the country didn’t stop more migrants from reaching the US border, avocado prices jumped.

However, barring a diplomatic row, we could be in for a green future. “Mexican producers and packers said this week they expect to send more than a million tons of the ‘green gold’ to the US this season, about 5% more than last year,” she wrote.

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