This dish is such a popular party food that Americans purchase over 12 million pounds of avocados during the Superbowl. Guacamole is delicious and easy to make for any level of cook. Just be careful when bringing out guacamole at a party, you might start an argument on who has the best recipe. We’ve provided a few amazing variations so you can rest assured you’ll win that debate every time.
What Is Guacamole?
Guacamole is a dip made from a base of avocados, with added spices, herbs and lime juice for additional flavor. The dip stems from Mexico but has become a staple in many international cuisines, including America. Guacamole is great at parties as an appetizer with chips and salsa or as a salad topper.
Every ingredient of the guacamole dish comes together to make a dish that tastes complex and delicious. The avocados provide a creamy texture, the lime juice and herbs brighten the dish, the salt adds flavor and the chilies add a bit of heat.
Where Was Guacamole Invented?
The Aztecs originally invented guacamole before the 16th century. The Aztecs were a flourishing society within what is now central Mexico, which is why the dish is now associated with Mexican culture.
Early guacamole recipes were made only of mashed avocado. Later, the recipe started incorporating onions, chilies and tomatoes. The dish became very popular for its delicious taste, high-fat content and nutritional value. The Aztecs found it difficult at times to incorporate fat into their diet, so guacamole was the perfect solution.
The name for guacamole comes from a Nahuatl word “ahuaca-mulli,” which roughly translates to “concoction” or “avocado sauce.” Although the idea is debated today, the Aztecs believed that guacamole was an aphrodisiac.
In the 1500s, the Spanish came to Mexico and became enthralled with the guacamole recipe but found it difficult to transport avocados back to Spain.
How to Make Guacamole
A standard guacamole recipe is easy to make and only takes a few minutes. A truly authentic guacamole recipe is made by mashing the avocados with a molcajete (a Mexican mortar and pestle device).
- Finely chop one onion.
- Add the juice of one lime to the onion to soak. Let soak for five minutes.
- Mash together 3-4 large avocados.
- Add lime-juiced onions and a sprinkle of salt to the avocado mash, and stir.
- Stir in onions, cilantro, two tomatoes and some chilies.
- Refrigerate for one hour.
- Serve with a side of tortilla chips.
For a traditional, easy-to-follow recipe with full measurements, check out this recipe.
Guacamole Recipe Variations
Guacamole is probably one of the most heavily debated recipes. It seems like every person has their variation and believes it to be the best. While there’s nothing wrong with the traditional recipe, it can be fun to explore some modern interpretations of guacamole.
This version calls for a pureed guacamole that adds sour cream into the dish for a supremely smooth texture.
Another recipe calls for the addition of mango and pomegranate seeds, which serves to almost combine the flavors of salsa into the guacamole dish.
For anyone that wants a heartier, meatier dish, the Food Network released a guacamole recipe that uses crispy bacon.
Not All Variations Are Positively Received
In 2015 the New York Times stirred up a huge controversy when they released a recipe for guacamole made from a base of peas. The majority of people didn’t receive this guacamole variation well, with even Obama and Joe Biden voicing their displeasure.
Guacamole is a dish that brings people together. Friends love to get together over a big plate of guacamole and chips, and there is no bigger compliment than when someone asks you for your guacamole recipe. This dish, while seemingly simple, can get quite complex in its variations. As long as the main components are present, you can generally assume that your guacamole is going to be a hit.