How To Make Guacamole
How to make guacamole video (scroll down for recipe)
I read this book a while back called The Ghosts of Evolution and it was about all the fruits and even ornamental plants that we grow today that actually evolved to suit giant mammals which have been extinct for thousands of years. The avocado was one example. When you think about it, the avocado was certainly not designed for the human mouth.
It was designed for something way huger: a giant sloth or mastodon or land-whale that could eat the avocado in one bite and let the pit slip right through, intact and unharmed, to be later spread throughout the land as that creature roamed the earth with heavy, plodding steps that shook the trees and made more avocados fall from the sky, thus continuing the avocado’s journey across South America.
But even though that giant sloth has been dead for millennia, the friendly avocado still expends a lot of plant-energy making delicious fats for us to enjoy while we in return have kept it from dying off with the sloths. You may ask yourself: do we manipulate the avocado, or does the avocado manipulate us? Good question, Plato.
You are here to learn facts, though, not philosophize about whether or not avocados will someday rule mankind.
There are two main varieties of avocado: the Hass (of California) and the Florida (of Florida). The Hass is most common around these parts and it’s the smaller, bumpier-skinned, black one. The Florida avocados are typically about twice the size of Hass, smooth-skinned and bright Kermit-green. Hass avocados have twice the fat content of Floridas! So, clearly, Hass are the best, but if you’re on a diet or something, use the Floridas. They’re still good, but not quite as richly avocado-tasting.
Does that answer all your avocado questions? No? ‘Kay.
How To Pick an Avocado
You wanna learn how to pick out an avocado? The deal is this: if you can help it, always buy avocados a little under-ripe and ripen them at home to avoid bruised and battered avocados. Avocados only ripen once they’re off the tree and it happens pretty fast. Once they’re ripe, they are extremely delicate and with the way people treat produce these days, ripe ones get messed up quick in the store bins.
Slightly under-ripe means: greenish around the stem (if we’re talking Hass) and very firm all over. No squishy spots (check the stem area especially for that), no puffy areas, and no dents. They should be very evenly shaped. Once you get them home, leave them on the counter for a couple of days or if you’re in a big hurry, put them in a paper bag together with an apple or banana to speed it up using the power of SCIENCE (ethylene gas).
After a day or two, start checking on your babies. When they’re ripe, the area around the stem should be tender. Push gently in about 1/2″ away from the stem, and if it gives, it’s ripe.The rest of the avocado will be slightly soft, too, but the stem-squish I think is the most reliable way to test. Hass avocados are super dark brown or black all over; Florida will still be green.
If you must hold off on making guacamole for a day or two, you can store ripe avocados in the fridge, just on a shelf, not in the drawer, for up to 3 days or so with no bad effects.
Best Guacamole RecipePrint
Quick, healthy dip made from avocados
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 5 mins
- Yield: 4
- 2 Hass avocados or 1 Fuerte
- 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons of lime juice)
- 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, minced (seeded for less heat)
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Hold the avocado in your palm, caressing it. Use a sharp knife to cut around it, longitudinally, to create two symmetrical halves.
- Twist the halves apart and use your knife to knock the pit out of whatever half it is stuck in.
- Scoop out the avocado guts with a spoon or just squeeze them out like I do.
- Squeeze the lime all over the avocado guts.
- Mash the avocado all up with a fork.
- Add the other stuff.
- Give it a whirl and add some more lime juice or salt if you think it needs it.