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The Annual "Best Ever" Guacamole Search

I no longer believe I have the “best ever” guacamole recipe. Every year about this time, the search for the ultimate guacamole comes up in the office or the blogosphere and I gather another nugget that raises the bar on my personal concoction.

New ingredients and theories get added or subtracted – things like the right texture (creamy or chunky) or the right balance of ingredients (simple or complicated). Even the question of if putting the pit back in the bowl of guacamole really keep the guacamole from turning brown is a subject of seemingly endless debate.

For some the business of guacamole is a serious, exacting science. For others, you just mash an avocado with a fork and your work is done. I’m somewhere in the middle but my recipe evolves every year. Rodrigo, our office avocado buyer and resident expert, is crazy busy right now. Avocadoes are very popular and demand is strong year round but in January demand really takes off.

This is due in part to very strong, overlapping availability from Chile and Mexico, both of which are producing excellent fruit. But the main reason demand increases in January is football. For the week of the big game, Rodrigo will book more than double the amount of avocadoes shipped in a normal week. This year supplies are much stronger and the fruit is ripening beautifully.

Mexico is the largest producer of avocadoes in the world. In fact, you would have to combine the production of the next four countries on the list of top producers (including the US) to come close to matching Mexico’s annual output. Next on the list for commercial production is the United States followed by the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Indonesia.

Here in the US most of our fruit comes from Mexico, Chile and domestically, when in season. California produces most of the domestic fruit and the season can start as early as December but peak production is later in the spring. Depending on the size of the crop, the US season can last into September. When selecting avocadoes at your store or farmers market, there are a few simple things to look for to avoid fruit that is over ripe.

Touch is the best indicator of ripeness, the fruit should be firm with just a slight give with no overly soft spots. Avocadoes bruise easily when ripe so they should be handled with care. Too soft fruit with wrinkling on the narrow tip is likely overripe and should be avoided. If you can, it’s best to buy firm fruit a few days in advance to avoid the risk of bruising altogether.

Put your firm avocadoes in a bowl with citrus or apples — both produce naturally occurring ethylene gas, which speeds the ripening process.

My current “best ever” recipe has gotten a little simpler:

4-5 medium avocadoes (ripe)

1/3 cup cherry tomatoes (grape or regular variety, interior pulp removed and sliced into small pieces)

1/4 small red onion (finely chopped)

1 hot pepper (jalapeño, seeds removed and finely chopped)

Chopped cilantro to taste 2 cloves of garlic (minced)

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (or to taste)

1/4 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)

Juice of 1/2 grilled lime (sliced in half and grilled in a skillet or on the barbeque)

Salt and pepper to taste


Combine all the ingredients except the avocadoes and set aside for the flavors to merge. Set aside the pits and roughly mash the avocadoes with a fork, taking care to leave whole chunks. Fold in the rest of the ingredients carefully and correct the seasoning to taste. Return the pits to the bowl and serve.


As always I enthusiastically encourage input — if you have a family favorite recipe or special process that works, please share. My guacamole is better than ever but the “’best” is yet to come.

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Margo says …

Hi, What is the reasoning behind placing the avocado pits in the guacamole in your guacamole recipe? thanks

Samantha says …

Sounds delicious!

Martha Walker Hutson says …

The BEST guacamole recipe I have came from Boudro's on the Riverwalk in San Antonio in 1998. (They no longer use this recipe.) It has 4 ingredients: avocado, thinly sliced and chopped red onion, lots of chopped cilantro, and a little fresh squeezed orange juice. That's it! Not watery in spots, just perfection.

Martha says …

The best gucamole ever consists if. Avocados a little chunky a littly smashed, jalapenos finely diced, red onion finely diced, lime and salt. That's it plain and simple.

elizabeth says …

the best guacamole is simple and smooth. lime, sea salt. maybe some fresh garlic. only one person i know can make guacamole so good with so few ingredients.

Tyhevia says …

Thank you whole foods for being in long beach. It was hard for me before when I had to travel to other cities to enjoy your market. Please don't ever leave long beach. :)

Lili Pickett says …

Tequila is key - 1/2 shot per avacado to your favorite recipe.

Ron says …

Wow! What a website! Just recently discovered your website and I am in awe. You are definitly a one stop shop store with complete services available. The receipes appear healthy and enticing. I certainly will try more than just a few. With a slant on eating healther I intend to learn more and have found that source. Warmest Regards. RJ

Heather B says …

I tend to like simple guacamole, not too chunky or smooth either. I just actually made this tonight and voila, I happened to read this article afterwards! 2 ripe avocados, scooped and mashed with a fork 1/4 of a red onion, finely chopped 1/2 - 1 clove garlic minced 1/2 of a lime juice salt pepper simple to make with ingredients always on hand, and can be done in seconds!

Angelina says …

Monochromatic guacamole Juice of 1 lime 1 jalepeno or serrano Green onionsliced thin 1/4 cup chopped cilantro Salt and pepper 4 avacodos

Mick says …

I always make Salsa from scratch with fresh ingrediants,(I add green pepper along with Jalapenas) I make it Chunky not Pureed. But, Haven't tried making Guacamole, which I'm making this weekend. I was searching for a receipe for Guac, & found them right here. Thanks to everyone for ALL these Great Receipes. I also add alot of Cilantro to my Salsa, as some have posted, and if I want it Hot I leave the seeds in for the Jalapenas. If not you can still add the Jalapenas, for the flavor,just remove the seeds. But, what is Salsa or Guac. if it doesn't have a little Kick. I always prefer All Fresh Ingrediants. Have a Great Weekend! ( : Thanks!

CG says …

molcajete-essential 3 haas avocados cilantro 2 limes 1/2 red onion chopped 1 jalapeno- remove seeds coriander seeds celery seeds white peppercorns Coarse Mesquite smoked sea salt Xochitl chips or El Milagro corn tortillas Prep; zest limes in molcajete, squeeze juice, grind dry ingredients and serve with Xochitl brand chips or make your own with El Milagro brand corn tortillas.

Jennifer Walker says …

The best avocados need nothing but a sprinkling of salt, but when I make guac, I stick with the KISS principle. A couple of ripe ones, roughly mashed, with salt, a splash of Cholula or other hot sauce, the juice of a small lime (or lemon, in a pinch), and maybe-- if the avocados aren't at their best-- a spoonful of sour cream to smooth it out. Yum!

Joanna says …

Well, not that this is best, but it's a great secret to keeping your 'guac' from going black. Mexican mother of good friends always added a spoon or two of milk when mixing the avocados and - and I don't know why but it works. Also tends to be a smoother mix. Don't overdue it, just a tablespoon maybe in a 2-cup mix. But anything made with avocados is THE BEST EVER!

Jaime says …

2 avocados 1 shallott, diced (pungent enough that I don't need garlic too.) 2 roma tomatoes, diced (no pulp) Half a lemon, squeezed Cilantro to taste Sriracha hot sauce to taste (or any habanero sauce - wimpier sauces require too much to get the right amount of heat) salt and pepper to taste.

Devin says …

Is this recipe serious? Real guacamole should not have tomato. Ewwww. The perfection comes from the balance, not the number, of ingredients. If you balance the ingredients perfectly, you only need 3 things: Avocado, lime, fresh cilantro. Salt is optional, and can come from the chips.

Scott says …

My family and I love guacamole. Thank you for this recipe. We use most of those ingredients, when we can, but I had never heard of grilling the limes. - sounds good. We will try it!