Guacamole has been around a lot longer than the concept of restaurants – or Cinco de Mayo celebrations for that matter! When the Spanish invaded Mexico in the 1500s, they found that the Aztecs were already enjoying a concoction of mashed avocados, onions, and tomatoes called ahuaca-mulli which meant avocado mixture, so who knows when it actually began its journey to become a staple of every authentic mexican restaurant san diego, St Louis or Staten Island.
Avocados, much in abundance in Mexico served the Aztecs well with its high fat content. The typical Aztec diet was very low in fat and so it was a welcome source of protein and energy-sustaining fats. Oh yes, and they believed it to be an aphrodisiac.
The Spanish heard this, and voila, tried to replicate the recipe. They brought avocados back to Spain and tried planting the pits but found that the avocado tree did not grow well in their corner of the world. Still the recipe retained diehard followers who tried to adapt the recipe. British sailors loved their midshipman’s butter, an avocado paste they spread on their hard tack.
The recipe spread from being an Aztec specialty to a Mexican one and eventually became a citizen of the world. Amazingly enough, modern recipes have not changed that much in the ensuing six centuries. Today’s chefs have taken the Aztec base of avocados, tomatoes, and onions and added garlic, cilantro, chile peppers to make guacamole what it is today. The appetizer, however, is in no way uniform, and afficionados have their own preferences. Diners may order guacamole and have it arrive
• with chunks of irregularly cut avocado
• as an avocado paste.
• as a soupy mix of equal parts avocado, sour cream, and water.
Long Live the Hass
One thing chefs, backyard barbecuers, and super bowl munchers agree on however is that even though the avocado comes in many varieties, there is only one type of avocado to give it its rich creamy, melt-in-your mouth texture – the Hass. Most of these small, dark green bumpy-textured avocados are grown in California where there are over 6,000 groves in the southern portion of the state.
Guacamole on its own is actually a very healthy snack – with one caveat. Diners should take care to limit their intake of the tortilla chips that have become part and parcel of the recipe.