Why Guacamole Is Everyone’s Favorite Dish

It’s a dip.

A thick sauce.

It’s a sandwich spread.

Nov-15_Guacamole_Illustrate7FB_000011537932And a salad topper.

It’s also a table condiment.

And, according to the Aztecs who invented it, an aphrodisiac.

That’s quite a résumé isn’t it?

No wonder guacamole has its own special holiday–Spicy Guacamole Day!

Commemorated every November 14th, it’s time to celebrate one of the world’s most favorite dishes.

Guacamole—a Very Special History

As early as the 16th century, the Mesoamerican Aztecs were making a dish called āhuacamolli – avocado sauce.

By 1871 it had become popular throughout Mexico and was making its way into the United States through Judge R.B. Ord who planted three avocado trees in Santa Barbara, California.

A 1900s Spanish-English pronunciation guide defined the lumpy, yet creamy delicacy as “salad of alligator pear”. (Pretty apt when you think about it – avocados do look a bit like pears with alligator skin.)

Fast forward to today. Surprisingly, most of today’s restaurant guacamole is made with the same recipe the Aztecs used all those centuries ago.Citrus lime fruit with slice isolated on white background with clipping path

America’s Darling

Though the first recipes for guacamole weren’t published in the United States until the 1940s, Americans are some of its top consumers.

And the days when Americans eat the most guacamole or “guac”? Cinco de Mayo and Super Bowl Sunday.

In fact, on game day alone, Americans will consume close to 80 million pounds of avocados.

That’s a lot of guac.

Avocado—the Awesome Green Fruit

The main ingredient of guacamole is the avocado which contrary to popular belief is a fruit—not a vegetable.

But this isn’t any ordinary fruit and is a very special package brimming with natural vitality.

An avocado:

  • Contains a super high nutrient content. The avocado is rich in an array of vitamins and minerals including calcium and magnesium as well as vitamins A, C and B. It contains more potassium than bananas!
  • Boasts the highest protein content of any fruit

For Spicy Guacamole Day—Time to Experiment!

Nov 15_Guacamole_Illustrate1_000005833487Guacamole is a simple dish typically made with avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro and lime.

Some people might toss in a little bit of fresh jalapeno or poblano peppers, but most restaurant versions stick close to the old Aztec recipe.

But Spicy Guacamole Day is the day for adding all kinds of spices, peppers and surprises to an old favorite.

For starters, did you know that spices are super good for you?

Yes. One of the reasons is they are brimming with beneficial polyphenols and are packed with high antioxidant activity.

So for Spicy Guacamole Day, why not try a new version of everyone’s favorite dish by adding some additional spices.

Here are some tips to get you going:

  1. Parsley. one leaf isolated on white background.Choose the right chili peppers. As a rule, the smaller the hotter. For more flavor than heat, try poblano peppers. For a bigger kick, pick up some serrano peppers.
  2. Deseed to decrease heat. If you’re unused to cooking with hot peppers, consider removing the seeds from all or most of them, which is where much of the heat resides. You can always add another – seeds intact – for more heat if you need it.
  3. Get out of your comfort zone. Find recipes with unique spices you’ve never heard of. Experiment. Have fun.

Some Final “Guac” Tips

The avocado is the center of guacamole so knowing how to pick, prepare and store the fruit is essential to a successful Spicy Guacamole Day.

Pick wisely: Hass are by far the most popular and available in the United States and most people select them by color, but that doesn’t always work. Judge ripeness by squeezing the avocado gently in your palm; if it yields slightly, you know it’s ripe and ready to eat. If you’re preparing in advance for a gathering, buy firm avocados and let them ripen in a brown paper bag over several days.

Slice and seed (the right way). Lengthwise is the best way to slice a Hass avocado. Twist the two halves to separate and spoon out the seed. You can also spoon the flesh of the avocado away from the skin to avoid too much bruising (or mess).

Nov-15_Guacamole_ChefRecipeStore your masterpiece guacamole intelligently. The worst thing about guacamole is how quickly it can turn brown in the refrigerator. And that old folk tale about keeping the seed to store with the leftovers – you probably already figured out that doesn’t work.

If you want to keep it fresh and green and delicious, store it in a truly airtight container. Believe it or not, you can also wrap it super tightly in plastic wrap and it will keep nicely.

But either way, add a little bit of lemon or lime juice before storing and it shouldn’t turn brown.

And now, in celebration of Spicy Guacamole Day, guess what the recipe is? That’s right, Spicy Garden Guacamole.

Enjoy the day and enjoy the “guac”.