What The US Gets Wrong About Guacamole

If you are making guacamole, chances are it's Taco Tuesday or Super Bowl Sunday or you are just hankering for something deliciously spicy and smooth piled high on your chips. Whatever the reason, there is one truth that comes with this green dip: guac rocks. Guacamole is the ultimate, creamy, fiesta of flavors whose siren call is irresistible to your taste buds. Just imagine: In 2018, the Haas Avocado Board (cited by WHAS) predicted that we would eat 104.9 million pounds of avocados on Super Bowl Sunday. What is it about this mashed-up avocado — mixed with onions, cilantro, lime juice, salt, tomatoes, chilis or whatever else our mouth desires –that makes us love this classic Mexican staple?

It may surprise you to learn that the guacamole we are eating in the United States is not authentic Mexican guacamole. That doesn't mean it isn't tasty. America has put some unique and yummy spins on their guac recipes. We eat grilled guacamole (per How Sweet Eats), bbq guacamole (from Avocados from Mexico), and even (via The New York Times) guacamole made with peas – don't get us started. But none of these are equal to the simple guacamole served up in Mexico. In fact, some people would say guacamole lovers in the United States have got guac all wrong.

Traditional guacamole includes neither lime juice nor garlic (ever)

According to the Twisted Taco, guacamole has been a coveted dish for several centuries. Its origins and evolution can be traced back to the Aztec Empire in the 1500s. Even the Spanish Conquistadors were fond of guac, but had a heck of a time enunciating the name of the dip. Still, that didn't stop them from enjoying it. Initially, guacamole's ingredients included avocados, tomatoes, and chilis, but the Spaniards put their fingerprint on the recipe, adding onions, cilantro, and lime juice. All the extra stuff we tend to add to our guacamole is really a nod to our Spanish friends. 

That said, 117 Milk Street suggests that garlic should never be added to traditional or nontraditional guacamole, because it will compete with the other flavors in your mix. They also note that the mashing should never begin until after the ingredients have all been placed in the bowl. If you are overzealous and start mashing your avocado before this, you will lose some of the juices. At the end of the day, if your goal is to experience guacamole as it is eaten in its native land, your mantra should be "less is more." Stick to the simple ingredients that made the Spaniards fall in love with this distinctive and perfect food in the first place.