Thanks to a recent interview with the Des Moines Register, the world knows a little more about Ted Cruz's likes and dislikes. His favorite film is The Princess Bride. He likes to unwind with movies and video games after a long day. And he really hates avocados.
"I despise avocado," the Republican from Texas said in response to a question about his phobias. "It's the only food I dislike, and I dislike it passionately. Which is ironic, because I'm Cuban, and my dad grew up with avocado trees in his backyard. My whole family eats avocados like crazy, but I can't stand them."
Fans of the food, mostly in the media, were not pleased. They tweeted:
Ted Cruz got me on loving The Princess Bride but lost me on avocado hatred. http://t.co/WecWNk27cD— Frank J. Fleming (@IMAO_) October 25, 2013
Ted Cruz "despises" avocado, and I now despise Ted Cruz. http://t.co/v9hWgDzwNZ— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) October 25, 2013
Debra McCarty, executive officer of the California Avocado Festival, was surprised by the senator's remarks. The festival has been held annually for 27 years in Carpinteria, Calif., an oceanside city in Santa Barbara County, which is the third-largest avocado producer in North America. McCarty, who says she "passionately" loves avocados, has yet to meet a foe of the fruit. "I am very happy that everybody has differences in taste in the world, but for us in Carpinteria, we love avocados for many reasons—their delicious taste, their buttery flavors," McCarty told National Journal. "They go well with everything."
Rep. Julia Brownley of California, whose state's farms produce 90 percent of the nation's avocados, pointed to the fruit's health benefits. "Given that good health is not one of Senator Cruz's areas of expertise, it is not surprising that he does not fully appreciate that the avocado is packed with nutrients and is part of a balanced, healthy diet," the Democratic lawmaker told National Journal. "I invite Senator Cruz to my district in Ventura County, where I'm certain he'll find our California-grown avocados to be both delicious and nutritious."
According to a recent Huffington Post/YouGov poll, 43 percent of Americans view Cruz unfavorably. How his stance on avocados will affect that number, it's too early to tell.