Guacamole – A Tasty Palette

I could not resist updating my post on guacamole from back in March, and publishing it here for this month of Mexican celebrations, since it is such a popular preparation, and the colourful palette of my three versions offers enough variety to please guests and family alike:


Updated from “The Mix-and-Match Game of Guacamole” (March 23, 2018) –  I am going to date myself by making this comment, but when I first came to Canada, avocados were very expensive and many people did not know how to eat them.  It was actually thanks to the popularity of California sushi rolls that the demand for avocados became great enough to justify having them as a regular offering at supermarkets, and the price went down as the quality went up.  Fast forward to present time, and not only sushi and avocados are still popular, but guacamole has become a well-known topping for anything from burritos and nachos, to even hamburgers!  And there are so many ways to prepare it, one has to wonder which recipe is the real deal.  As I have mentioned before, the word guacamole derives from Nahuatl and it simply means “avocado sauce”; the Mexica (Aztec) had avocados, tomatoes, tomatillos, hot peppers, and even some sort of small onions, but garlic, cilantro, and limes were not known in the New World before the arrival of the Spaniards, so the origin recipe was probably very simple.  I rarely buy prepared guacamole, because most commercial recipes use copious amounts of garlic which, I declare, do not belong in guacamole.  It is therefore wonderful that avocados are now readily available, because it is very easy to slice and prepare them fresh, and follow the guacamole recipe that suits my preferences and my family’s.

Guacamole – Simple, Classic or Green

Printable recipe: Guacamole

I only have access to two varieties of avocado around here: Caribbean, which is large, round, with a light green, glossy skin and a mild, even slightly sweet taste; and Hass, the elongated avocados, with a dark and textured exterior, that are creamy and bright green inside. The Caribbean are probably great in smoothies and desserts, but for guacamole, Hass is the way to go:

I started by preparing batches of mashed and cubed avocado, and from there, I could  mix and match with basic ingredients and other sauces, to build three different versions of guacamole: simple, classic and green.  I sliced the avocados lengthwise with a paring knife, going around the pit.  I removed the pit applying the Mexican way: you rest the halved avocado on a cutting board and hit the pit with the blade of a kitchen knife, as if it were an axe; pick up the avocado and separate the pit by lifting the knife; set the avocado half aside and very carefully, hold the pit by wrapping it with a paper towel, and shake the knife to pull it out of the pit.  It is not necessary to use this method if the avocado flesh is going to be mashed, but for nice cubic pieces, the pit has to be removed without damaging the flesh:

I chose the best halves for cubes; I scored a grid on the avocado halves, squeezed the peel very gently to loosen up the pieces, and also gently scooped them onto a bowl with the tip of the knife.  In a separate bowl, I prepared the rest of the avocado by scooping the flesh and  mashing it with a fork:

Now I had two presentations for my avocados, to start preparing the guacamoles:

cubed or mashed logo

For the simple guacamole, I took one portion of the mashed avocado and seasoned it with chopped hot green peppers (such as serranos, or jalapeños), salt and lime juice:

For the classic guacamole, I used the rest of the mashed avocado and mixed it with an equal amount of pico de gallo salsa:

classic guacamole logoguacamole classic logo

For the green guacamole (also called “green sauce with avocado”), I used the neatly cubed avocado and dumped it softly on top of a batch of cooked green sauce:

green and cubes logoverde con guacamole logo

I stopped at that point, but it is easy to imagine all the possible permutations and combinations with green raw sauce, more than one sauce, spices, …


Science Tidbit: Avocado flesh turns brown once exposed to air because of the enzyme polyphenol oxidase (PPO), which causes the reaction of polyphenols in the fruit with oxygen in the environment, prompting the formation of quinones and secondary compounds, and causing darkening of the exposed tissue; this is called enzymatic browning.  Several conditions may inhibit enzymatic browning, besides physical barriers (covering): lowering temperature (that is why refrigerated guacamole stays greener longer); lowering pH (that is why adding lime juice is recommended); blanching to denature the enzyme PPO (I have tried this advice of heat treating the avocados before slicing); and not something for the kitchen: genetically modified varieties that suppress the extraction of PPO (is it just me, or avocados are not as fragile as they used to be?)


I am joining Tummy Tuesday hosted by Mary @ Cactus Catz; this week, she has the best review on food, crime and ghost stories at Hotel Congress in Tucson, AZ!


I am also joining the Cook Blog Share – week #39 hosted by Eb @ Easy Peasy Foodie  (this week, she has lots of ideas for a fun fall season!)

 

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Guacamole – A Tasty Palette

  1. I love this post almost as much as I love guacamole and that is a lot! I am going to try the green sauce with guacamole it looks so good. I had a friend that added a spoon of mayonnaise to his guacamole and it made it creamy and gave it a little different taste although not very authentic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thank you! And mayo? You are right, it is not traditional, but mayonnaise goes so well with Mexican sandwiches and salads that I can almost taste your friend’s guacamole on a torta or a stuffed tomato, yum!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I’m dating myself too…I didn’t eat many avocados until the last ten to fifteen year. What a wonderful food I missed, but in our area, New Jersey, they weren’t that plentiful, and yes, very expensive. Now they are reasonable and I enjoy them quite frequently. Also, Aldi has an amazing chunky avocado dip…delicious.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Wow! That sounds like an awesome idea but I’d probably dish some salsa into the middle with a sprinkle of crunchy onion — oh, I do like that idea — a great healthy snack. (I’m a crybaby when it comes to hot sauce so had to turn to salsa for comfort, lol)

        Liked by 2 people

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