Guacamole: Nature’s Perfect Food

by Sarah on January 27, 2011

Have you ever tasted something and thought to yourself, “this ‘—-‘ has no business tasting this good”.  As if something that fantastic cannot truly happen in nature.  But friends, guacamole is that food.

I know that we in California have been spoiled for many years, with avocados being available for a cheap price year-round.  Is this still true?  Seems like you can get anything, anywhere anymore–air mail.  All I know is, avocados are on my weekly shopping list.  And are a buck a piece right now at the local grocer.  Probably even cheaper at the Mexican markets.

I love and adore avocados so much.  I would totally marry one.  I regularly eat half an avocado, sprinkled with salt and pepper (lime and chili if I feel fancy) and scoop it right out of the shell with a spoon.  But guacamole–Lord, have mercy.  It really may be the perfect food.

I read in a James Beard book that popular early versions of guacamole served on the East Coast were called “avocado butter”.  I can see that.  The decadent smooth texture even feels like butter sometimes.  Plus, I suppose those folks back East didn’t get their hands on avocados very often.  That, and Mexican food in the East was kind of scarce.  How were these poor, deprived people to know what guacamole was in 1949?

And speaking of James Beard, in his friend Helen Evans Brown‘s “The West Coast Cookbook “(1952), she mentions that she had seen the spread called “Waca Molay”–but she adds, “not, I assure you, in a West Coast publication”.  (This will surely be a future ‘Cookbook Mania!’ feature, as she is just fabulous and I simply adore this book).

Thankfully, on the guacamole front, things have changed.  Decent Mexican food can be found nearly everywhere in the States, if not the world, and I’m pretty positive that even guacamole can be found in the farthest reaches of Maine.  You might even be able to scrounge up the rest of the ingredients too!

Because, really, even though a small bowl of guacamole is dear in a restaurant setting, at this time of year especially, you can splurge on a great big bowl of the flavorful green concoction for about the same price as a bag of chips.  So go ahead, pig out.

*Health Alert!* According to, avocados (and therefore guacamole) have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer; is high in oleic acid, which has been shown to prevent breast cancer; have more of the carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit (lutein protects against macular degeneration and cataracts), are high in beta-sitosterol; a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels; and is high in folate, vitamin E, monounsaturated fats and glutathione–all of which help prevent heart disease and stroke.  PLUS, research has found that certain nutrients are absorbed better when eaten with avocado.

Moral of the story is:  Eat more guacamole.  And here’s how to make it:



  • (For a small bowl, such as the photos above)
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp minced jalapeno (I have used red chili flakes in place of fresh jalapeno or other chile pepper when not available)
  • 1/2 a medium lime
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp minced red onion
  • salt and pepper


  • Note: ALL of the above ingredients are approximate. Adjust the flavorings as desired. You can add diced tomato, in season and if desired, but I prefer to keep things simple and simply serve a fresh pico de gallo on the side.
  • Cut avocados in half, lengthwise, and, holding the avocado in the palm of your hand, cut side out, squeeze the avocado out of it's skin and into a small bowl. Repeat with all your avocado halves. Mash the ripe avocados with a fork until they reach your preferred consistency. I like mine on the chunky side.
  • Add the jalapeno (or other chili, if preferred, or simply red chili flakes), onion if desired, garlic and chopped cilantro. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime. Stir thoroughly. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Taste again and adjust seasoning with any of the above ingredients.

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