Why Shepards are the Mr Darcy of Avocados

Avocados offer surprisingly good analogies for Jane Austen characters

Headshot of Colin Firth as Mr Darcy on the left with a close-up of Shepherd Avocados on the right
Avocado photo by Nur Afni Setiyaningrum on Unsplash

Okay, so this title is really going to mess with my SEO. Google will be really confused, thinking I’m peddling fruit-based Jane Austen conspiracy theories. But hear me out – this analogy makes a lot more sense than you might think. As Hass disappear from our shelves and the Shepard season gets into full swing here in Australia, it’s time to admit the truth: Shepard are the superior avo.

Reasons why Mr Darcy is a Shepard Avocado

It’s obvious when you think about it. As soon as you start thinking ‘which Jane Austen character is which fruit?’, you just have to pick Shepard avos for Mr Darcy. First impressions are not great: on meeting he is firm and unyielding. Try to take a bite/get him to dance and you’ll be met with an unpleasant experience making you regret even trying. His uniformly green skin/sullen expression doesn’t reveal anything. You’re left forever guessing about what’s going on inside. You’re left forever guessing how ripe it is/what his true feelings are. The one consolation is that their intrusion into your life is short, with a far shorter growing season for Shepards/Darcy making trips to town.

All in all you can see why someone in search of brunch/Lizzy would be put off. But the key is to give it/him a little time. Take it into your home/let him go off to town for a bit, and you’ll find relations mellow. Though he stays green, he becomes softer, more giving/willing to compromise on your family for the sake of his love for you. Crack it open after a week and you’ll be rewarded with a creamy, nutty avo which perfectly lends itself to spreading on toast, mixing with feta, or making an exceptional guacamole. Just as leaving Mr Darcy alone for a while and then turning up unannounced at his house will find him in a far better mood, happy to go out of his way to give you and your friends a good time.

Once you’ve made this effort, the love and happiness you find with Shepard avos/Mr Darcy stands the test of time. They may stay green on the outside, but they’ll also stay green on the inside, preserving their colour once cut. Once love has been reignited with Darcy, he proves himself time and time again.

So really it must be accepted as a truth universally acknowledged that not only are Shepard avocados the Mr Darcy of fruits, they are also the superior avocado.

Reasons why Mr Wickham is a Hass Avocado

Adrian Lukis in military uniform as George Wickham on the left and a close-up of Hass avocados on the right
Avocado photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

If the Shepard is Mr Darcy, it stands to reason that the Hass is Mr Wickham. While you proclaim your dislike of Shepards/Lizzy is convinced of her hatred of Mr Darcy, the Hass/Wickham offers comfortingly instant gratification. It/he seems to have everything you want. You can use it straight away, it’s perfectly tasty, and it tells you when it’s ready to eat with its helpfully colour-coded skin. Mr Wickham is friendly, out-going, a crowd-pleaser, and will give you great conversation and a good dance. It seems like the obvious choice.

But how often have you cut open a Hass only to discover that it is bruised and stringy on the inside? Appearances truly can be deceptive. The appeal of the Hass/Wickham is only ever short-lived. Even if it is not bruised, once you cut it open/get to know it, it will soon turn brown, making you question what was so great about it in the first place. And as with Wickham and Darcy, it will so often be that Shepard you had forgotten about which comes to save the day.

So next time you’re singing the praises of the Hass, ask yourself this: ‘Am I a Lizzy or a Lydia?’ I think you know the right answer.

Bonus/Alternative theory: the Hass is Mr Bingley

Crispin Bonham-Carter as Mr Bingley on the left, and a vertical row of Hass avocados, one cut in half, on the right
Avocado photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

This is one I have to credit to my boyfriend. Disappointed by my harsh characterisation of the longtime favourite Hass as Mr Wickham, he posited an alternative theory: the Hass avocado is Mr Bingley. And I must admit that this theory has some merit. Few can resist Mr Bingley’s goofy charm. Like Mr Wickham he is always trying to please, but unlike Wickham this is based on genuine care and affection. The Hass has a deliciously smooth taste; it’s easy to get on with. Like Mr Bingley, it wears its heart on its sleeve, giving you a good idea of how ripe it is, just like Bingley isn’t afraid to show that he favours Jane. So perhaps if you can’t bear to switch allegiance and admit the true superiority of the Shepard, you can cut yourself a bit of slack and call yourself not a Lydia, but a Jane.

Have I gone slightly mad? Maybe! Does this theory hold us? Yes! Which is your favourite avo, and why? And if you had to compare a fruit to a Jane Austen character, which pairing would you pick?


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