HUNTER & GATHER: A Paleo In The UK Review
Here at Paleo In The UK we have a conflicted relationship with Avocados. Now, clearly, they’re really close to being a superfood (nutritionally dense, good fats in perfect ratios, low-carb etc. etc.). But when it comes to planetary consideration and environmental impact we do have some concerns…
And then there’s the fact that even Virgin trains deem Avocados to be the mark of a millennial… which, quite frankly, none of us are…
Basically the Avocado has been blighted by over-popularity and over-hype. And by commercialisation – with avocados being served under-ripe and overpriced in every chi-chi spot since around 2013…
And yet this doesn’t change the fact that Avocados can be really good for you. And, as a whole food they are definitely within the Paleo framework.
HUNTER & GATHER
Into this realm of “Avo-culture” have stepped Hunter & Gather… (we know… really brave, huh?)
And yet… rather than importing unripe Avocados from poor quality farms and simply smashing them on poorly made, supposedly ‘sourdough’ toast…
Hunter & Gather have done something quite amazing: they’ve invested in quality, sustainability and ethics whilst simultaneously bringing two products to market which take the ‘clean eating’ darling, the avocado, to new heights, making two revolutionary products which are unique within the space: a pure, Extra Virgin Avocado Oil and, thank heaven, an absolutely Paleo Extra Virgin Avocado Mayonnaise.
HUNTER & GATHER EXTRA VIRGIN AVOCADO OIL
When it comes to oils, the landscape has been slowly expanding over the last decade. We have moved on from junk vegetable oils, and as fat has become the favoured macronutrient we have seen the rise in artisan oils (cold pressed, extra virgin) from a multitude of areas. On your supermarket shelf these days you have a slew of various olive oils – from your bog standard Filippo Berio to some really niche, single estate (very expensive) version. You can even buy several brands of avocado oil in supermarkets these days.
But we here at Paleo In The UK never do buy avocado oil in supermarkets…. Basically, because most of them are vile: with questionable sourcing and quality, they taste overly strong, almost medicinal and very bitter…
We will admit, therefore, we were highly sceptical of Hunter & Gather’s Extra Virgin Avocado oil. They ace the ‘quality’ criteria, making their products only from hand-picked, perfectly (fully!) ripened Kenyan avocados. These beautiful fruits are then cold pressed using extra virgin standards that would shame many olive oil producers and the result is an incredibly pure oil, high in oleic acid (a so-called ‘healthy’ fat).
All of which is well and good… but could they actually make it vaguely edible? They suggest on their website that their oil is suited for dipping, drizzling and cooking. But no avocado oil we’ve ever tasted has been good for anything but the bin…
Now, we warned the team at Hunter & Gather that we would give honest reviews. We were trying to say “we love avocados, but the oil tends to be awful so you may not want us writing a review for you…”
Testament to them – they have confidence in their products (they even sign off their emails with “PS – OUR EXTRA VIRGIN AVOCADO OIL IS PROBABLY THE BEST IN THE WORLD. (just saying) ?”) ….
Boy, are we glad they did send us some to try…!
Their Extra Virgin Avocado Oil is a delicate green shade, really smooth… and oh my goodness, it tastes delicate, slightly sweet and with a hint of avocado flavour. This is not the pungent, bitter flavour you’ve experienced before – this avocado oil is so delicious that it has instantly become our favourite salad dressing and topping for just about anything we can think of – vegetables, meats, even our n’oatmeal and in smoothies. This is a revolution in healthy fats and is a real addition to any kitchen.
As this is literally just cold-pressed avocados, this oil is suitable for every diet imaginable: Paleo, AIP, vegan, kosher, plant-based, keto, just normal eaters … and we are ecstatic that these guys are UK producers making whole foods eating a pleasure. You know that feeling when you’re eating something that’s both yummy AND good for you – when it just feels lovely to eat it? Well Hunter & Gather’s oil gives you that feeling. A resounding seal of approval from us.
HUNTER & GATHER EXTRA VIRGIN AVOCADO MAYONNAISE
And yet, we were still inherently sceptical about mayonnaise. Paleo condiments are notoriously hard to find because so many store bought (i.e. easy, simple, quick) ones contain sugars, gluten, additives, preservatives, soy and other junk – and the ubiquitous word, “spices”, which can (and does) mean anything.
There are a few companies stepping into this space, with beetroot ketchups and certain pickles taking a stab at the Heinz domination. Companies with a whole-foods ethos recognise that food doesn’t need to be boring just because it’s real – it just requires remembering how food used to be (i.e. with an actual expiry date).
We went Paleo so long ago that we have got used to a life without much in the way of condiments – any we eat have been made ourselves. As this is such a faff, we have simply learned to love food without that dollop of extra sauce.
Hunter & Gather’s Extra Virgin Avocado Mayonnaise has just four ingredients: avocado oil – see above!, free range pasteurised egg yolk apple cider vinegar and salt. Perfectly Paleo (though not AIP), this is a fabulous addition to the diets of those who are eating ancestrally…
And we now slightly hate Hunter & Gather a little bit…
Because this Hunter & Gather mayonnaise is an utter triumph. Like… unspeakably brilliant. We would never have thought that we’d gush about mayonnaise… but here we are. This is so absolutely delicious that we have already placed an order for 10 more jars… and we are already regretting that it wasn’t more!
This tastes how home-made mayonnaise tastes – not too sweet, really thick and creamy, tangy and with that fatty flavour that adds bulk and deliciousness to everything. We are already thinking of coleslaw, potato salad and tuna-mayo… things we haven’t been able to have for decades.
Since our group tasting of this mayo (yes, we fought over who could take the jar home… Victoria won), several of us have had conversations with Paleo friends and family who need to try this mayonnaise. Victoria has been telling her clients about Hunter & Gather for a while now, but in the last week has had several discussions about how some clients have taken to bulk ordering this mayonnaise and having it on literally everything.
Given the approach, ethics and ethos of the team at Hunter & Gather, we expected these products to be good. We had no idea we’d all think they were this good. And, stunningly, you don’t have to take out a mortgage to buy these – the Extra Virgin Avocado OIl is available online at £6.99 for 250ml whereas the Extra Virgin Avocado Mayonnaise is online for £5.99 for 250g. You can also buy these in Whole Foods stores, on Amazon and a variety of other online whole foods stores.
Wherever you get yours, do yourself a favour… buy in bulk. Trust us – you’ll regret it if you don’t.