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The Best-Ever Guacamole - Again

By James Parker, January 18, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by James Parker

Guacamole prep

There are few things I like better than guacamole. The flavor and texture are amazing, and it seems you can’t avoid feeling festive when you serve it.

Another thing I’ve noticed, sampling guacamole throughout the US, is that there are often subtle but distinct differences in what goes into it and how it’s prepared.

Along with those differences come some surprisingly strong opinions about what makes for the “best-ever” guacamole. Smooth or chunky? Spicy or mild? Simple or complicated? I’m pretty passionate about my own recipe, which you’ll find below. The one constant among all opinions?  The best-ever guacamole starts with ripe, high-quality avocadoes.

The Avocado Forecast

With that in mind, I’d say 2012 was a banner year for guacamole lovers, with more to come in 2013! Avocado production declines in the US and Chile led to a 30% reduction in available US supply in 2011. But that decline rebounded with a vengeance in 2012. By year’s end, nearly 1.5 billion pounds were produced or imported into the US, and the forecast for 2013 projects an increase of 200 million more pounds over last year! Guac lovers, get those big bowls out!

Avocadoes

More than half of the avocadoes come from Mexico, with the state of Michoacán being the leading source for the early months of the year. US production (mainly from California) starts to overlap with Mexico later in the spring, followed by Chile and Peru later in the year. These overlaps in availability from different growing regions throughout North, Central and South America are extremely important to securing the best fruit. Lots of supply means we don’t have to stay with one growing area too long. It also means avocadoes should remain reasonably priced throughout the year.

Monitoring the Situation

Avocado trees produce fruit (yep, an avocado’s a fruit) year round but the key to a good eating experience is the avocado oil content. If the oil’s too low the fruit can be watery and flavorless, too high can also be undesirable. That’s why we here at Whole Foods Market’s Produce Team keep a close eye on those avo’s and move from one growing area to another to get the fruit with just right oil content and the very best flavor and quality.

Picking the Best

When I’m buying avocadoes at the store, I try to get them a couple of days before I need them. This way I get firmer, bruise-free fruit that I can soften at home. Ethylene gas (gas produced by other ripening fruit) will speed the ripening process, so if you are in a hurry, place an avocado in a paper bag with a banana, apple or orange. Ripe avocadoes should have a slight give when pressed.

Guacamole prep

My Best-Ever Guacamole Recipe

My best-ever guacamole recipe has stayed pretty consistent over the years with a few tweaks to how I prepare it:

Ingredients

4 ripe avocadoes

1/4 cup thinly sliced grape or cherry tomatoes (or mangoes if you’re feeling adventurous)

1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion

1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped

Coarsely chopped cilantro, to taste (I like about a teaspoon and a half)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Juice of one half lime- I grill it in a skillet (it enhances the flavor and warm limes produce more juice- it also smells heavenly)

1/2 teaspoon each cumin and chili powder (or to taste)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Combine all the ingredients except the avocadoes, salt and pepper to give the flavors a chance to meld for a half hour or so. Mash the avocadoes with a fork so there are whole pieces of avocado and then gently fold in the other ingredients. Serve immediately.

Guacamole tasting

The final ingredient for the best-ever guacamole is opinionated friends. In all honesty, while I have my favorite go-to recipe, I’m always on the hunt for new and interesting variations.

If you have a great guacamole recipe, unique variations or secret ingredients please share them in the comments below. There’s no reason the best can’t get even better!

 

Many thanks to Rodrigo Velasquez for contributing to this post.

Category: Produce, Food & Recipes

 

53 Comments

Comments

Rosie says ...
When the Vitamix demos were at our local Whole Foods, he used avocados in two ways, that I can attest are DELISH!!! One is in ice cream (non dairy), the other was in soup (his was tortilla). He said it adds the creaminess. So good!!! I luv avocados, I fell in love with them when I lived in FL and they were abundant there!
01/18/2013 12:16:04 PM CST
Joe says ...
The simplest start to great Guacamole is a super ripe Avocado that is bruise free. Most Avocadoes are simply not ripe enough in the store. So grab a perfect looking one and place it in a paper bag by a window as suggested. And whatever you do, don't use an unripe avocado for Guacamole! We love whole foods at iEatPhilly.com!
01/18/2013 4:18:03 PM CST
SoDelhi says ...
Yum! Food is one of my favorite things about travel. I had never tried out these things but after reading your post I feel that I have been there. Thanks for sharing such a nice information with us.
01/19/2013 3:35:11 AM CST
Kim Pacchioli says ...
I love this recipe, but i am on someone else's computer w/o a printer. It would be great if you offered the capability to email to a friend, so I could email it to myself and print it.
01/19/2013 10:31:55 AM CST
jbielawa says ...
looking forward to trying this, I love avocados and eat one almost every day, but have never tried to make my own guacamole. I wondered why avocados were so inexpensive lately and you explained, thanks!
01/19/2013 5:49:52 PM CST
Dustin Jaggers says ...
I love guac. Your recipe is very similar to mine, and I liked the article.
01/19/2013 10:09:45 PM CST
Chris Hands says ...
i Agree that Avocadoes are the first most important thing in the recipe, very close second is Cilantro, i have found Cilantro can make or break your recipe as well. Any tips on picking an avocado with the right oil content? ex: region for the time of year maybe? tired of watery Avocadoes. Cheers!!!
01/20/2013 4:56:22 PM CST
patel says ...
Adding a dollop of sour cream makes the guac creamy!
01/20/2013 6:59:39 PM CST
Matt says ...
Guac
01/22/2013 9:36:43 AM CST
Lynn Brown says ...
I had the best guac i ever had from a whole foods store I hope this is it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks Lynn
01/22/2013 9:39:23 AM CST
philkar_4 says ...
Guacamole is one of my favorites!!
01/22/2013 9:39:58 AM CST
Danelle says ...
This recipe for guacamole sounds so good will try right away love it on almost everything
01/22/2013 9:42:54 AM CST
Christine says ...
my guac is super simple and yummy, 1-2 avacados, a dollop of mayo, and a couple dollops of my favorite salsa. that's it, super easy, super yummy!
01/22/2013 9:51:03 AM CST
kathleen funk says ...
I think there should never be tomatoes in guac. The best guac ive had out resides at Chipotle restaurant. Its the ultimate consommate guac. Im a die hard fan of the stuff and a foodie. Guac should have slight chunks in it and never ever should it have tomatoes. Im sure you may like your recipe but i truly believe the tomatoes are not needed. Gi to Chipotle Grill and thats where the ultimate guac is. I would not use the above recipe. Sorry.
01/22/2013 9:52:38 AM CST
Susan Williams says ...
With guacamole, in general, simple and pure is the best. My recipe is very close to yours. However, whenever I have roasted corn, from a leftover ear of grilled corn on the cob, I like to add that, and with spectacular results, I must say. :-D
01/22/2013 10:00:57 AM CST
Marsha Brooks says ...
4 Avocados, mashed, 2 Tbsp grated onion or chopped green onion, 1/2 lime freshly squeezed, 2 tbsp sour cream. 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. depending on whom its eating for zip cayenne pepper.
01/22/2013 10:11:08 AM CST
Megan says ...
To slim down your guac...use 1/2 avacadoes, 1/2 green peas (frozen and thawed are best).
01/22/2013 10:18:01 AM CST
Dawn says ...
Great tip on the grilled limes! Going to try that next time.
01/22/2013 10:24:32 AM CST
Karen Habbestad says ...
3-4 Ripe Avocados, mashed slighty chunky, handful of sliced diced cherry tomatoes, 1 tbs. diced shallot, 2 tsp. minced garlic, lots of lime (juice from 1 juicy lime), sea salt to taste, adult non-alcoholics get added splash of tequila :-)
01/22/2013 10:46:28 AM CST
Erin says ...
OMG I can't wait to make this. I just bought a bag of avocados and they are ready to be served up. I swear I eat them on almost everything these days.
01/22/2013 11:30:42 AM CST
Pamela Tanton says ...
I make a delicious guacamole using avocados (usually I buy them from Whole Foods) and Whole Foods salsa. Think about it--the ingredients in the salsa are tomatoes, purple onion, cilantro, onion, lime (It think it's lime)...so if you want to make guacamole really fast, just grab a container of Whole Foods salsa and add it to mashed avocados. I would say that for two avocados, I might use about half a container of salsa, maybe less.
01/22/2013 2:26:02 PM CST
robynella says ...
This is a great recipe and I have only one suggestion, if you prefer your guacamole on the chunky side: fold everything together with a whisk! (Found this tip on TheKitchn.com - it has not failed me yet.) I hate super smooth guacamole so this really makes it all come together without getting too mushed up.
01/22/2013 2:32:27 PM CST
james parker says ...
Hi Chris Hand- I can't say I have a reliable method for insuring the oil content is just right- I tend to avoid fruit with uneven, blotchy black and green coloring and fruit that has soft spots or wrinkled skin. Kathleen Funk- I agree Chiptole has great guacamole. I put tomatoes in mine for color and texture but I agree it doesn't have to have them Patel and Marsha Brooke- I used to put sour cream in mine until a few of my purist friends in Texas told me it if you do it ceases being "true guacamole" and becomes a <quote> "Fancy California Avocado dip" (I live in California BTW). I think I'm going to add it back to my best ever recipe and just respectfully disagree with regional views. It does add some zing. Karen Habestad- Splash of tequila? Gotta try it!
01/22/2013 4:26:41 PM CST
Manny Robles says ...
Well my guacamole is different the name is Hot Guacamole I have tomatoes , anios, jalapeños, garlic and the avocados. More hot the guacamole is delicious viva Mexico
01/22/2013 5:03:16 PM CST
Elisabeth says ...
I learned to make guacamole in Mexico and it definitely had tomatoes! My recipe is the same except I leave out the garlic, cumin and chili powder. While I put cilantro in salsa I usually don't in guacamole. The secret ingredient I learned was grated Parmesan cheese! For texture. I can't wait to try it with your additions!
01/22/2013 5:59:52 PM CST

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