#15: Guacamole

#15: Guacamole

Guacamole is one of those dishes that shouldn’t really need a recipe, but that people fret over without one. In my deeply-held opinion, guacamole requires nearly nothing except for perfectly ripe avocadoes and a common sense approach to seasoning them. Unfortunately, people never seem very satisfied with that response; though to be fair, most people who’ve asked me have prefaced it with “Oh you’re half-Mexican? I bet you have a really good recipe for guacamole”…so perhaps they do not always merit receiving a particularly satisfying answer.

However you interpret the idea of guacamole, you will inevitably encounter the dilemma of picking a good avocado. Those temperamental little bastards can be a nightmare to figure out. I consider myself a seasoned avocado selector, but their covert trickery still occasionally fools me. There are all sorts of theories for how to predict that you’re getting a winner of an avocado, but generally I find that the following tends to work out about 80-90% of the time (which as far as avocado stats go is not bad AT ALL).

  • Tighter, smoother-skinned avocadoes are generally better options than the thicker, bumpier-skinned ones.
  • The give of the avocado should be tested with a soft, but firm squeeze; don’t bruise it, just test it.
  • No areas of mushiness should be felt upon palpation; you want the slightest give without you having to squeeze much to feel it.
  • Some people swear by pulling off the little stem nob and seeing if it’s green (good) or brown (bad) underneath. This will work to tell you if the avocado is overripe, but not if it’s underripe.
  • That being said, it’s better to buy an underripe avocado and give it a day or two to soften up than to try to salvage an overripe avocado.
  • Don’t refrigerate your avocadoes unless they’re perfectly ripe and you need them to stay that way for another day before going brown.
  • Placing your avocadoes in a brown paper bag with a banana or two (overripe bananas are even better) will give them a bit of a boost in ripening, but they do need at least 24 hours in the bag.

Looking for a simpler and (in my biased opinion) more traditional guacamole that absolutely sings when you pair it with great avocadoes?

Looking for a more familiar, action-packed guacamole that is, admittedly, so very delicious?