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FOOD HOLIDAY: National Guacamole Day

Dating back to Mayan times (pre-Aztec), guacamole sauce was made the avocado, onion, chiles, fresh tomato, and salt—a recipe that is still made today.

The ingredients were mashed in a molcajete (mol-cah-HET-tay), a Mexican pestle carved from volcanic stone, although today granite is an easier-to-clean option.

The name of the dish comes from the Aztec language, Nahuatl: ahuacamolli (ah-waka-MOLE-ee), which literally translates to “avocado sauce” (ahuacatl is avocado, molli is sauce. In Spanish, guacamole is prounounced huac-ah-MOE-lay.

Over time, different regions of Mexico began mixing local ingredients, creating thousands of variations. In American cuisine, it is used as a dip and condiment.

Progressive Mexican restaurants often offer a tasting appetizer of three or four different recipes.

 

Try guacamole with different garnishes and mix-ins. Photo courtesy Avocados From Mexico.

 
At Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen and Tequileria in New York City, Chef Richard Sandoval does exactly that, offering options that include:

 


A regional guacamole recipe from the south
of Mexico. Photo courtesy Maya | NYC.
 
  • Traditional, made with avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro and serrano chile
  • Baja, with flavors from Baja California—kiwi, jicama, strawberry, mango, mint, arbol chile, lime and sea salt
  • Norteno, with signature ingredients from the North—chicharrón (fried pork rinds), pickled onions, salsa fresca, Serrano ham, queso fresco, roasted corn, lime and sea salt
  • Pacifico, with grilled beet, roasted walnut, queso fresco, diced orange, citrus chipotle salt and lime juice
  • Sur, incorporating flavors from the South including grasshoppers (uh…fried grasshoppers are a popular snack in Mexico and you can buy them online), tomatillo, cotija cheese, onion, cascabel chile, cilantro, lime and sea salt (see photo at left)
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    But perhaps the best way to enjoy National Guacamole Day is to create your own signature recipe. To the mashed avocado, lime juice and salt, add:

     

  • Tomato group: tomato, tomatillo, salsa, sundried tomatoes
  • Onion group: chives, onion, green onion/scallion, pickled onions, red onion, shallots
  • Heat: chili flakes, minced chiles, hot sauce
  • Cheese: blue cheese, cotija, queso fresco, grated cheddar (try jalapeño cheddar) or jack
  • Creamy: crème fraîche, sour cream, yogurt
  • Fruit: dried fruits, mango, melon, papaya, pomegranate arils, strawberry
  • Herbs: basil, bell pepper, cayenne, cilantro, garlic cloves, mint, parsley, sage, tarragon
  • Vegetables: asparagus, corn, jicama, radish/daikon
  • Wild card: bacon, crab meat, minced pork or ham, olives, toasted nuts
  •  
    Check out this fusion recipes from California Avocado Growers for Cajun Guacamole, French Guacamole, Greek Guacamole, Italian guacamole, Japanese guacamole.

    There are 21 pages of guacamole recipes on the website.

    Here’s a Cranberry Guacamole recipe for the holidays.

      




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