gua·ca·mo·le  n.

A thick paste of mashed avocado, often combined with citrus juice, onion, and seasonings and usually served as a dip or in salads.


[American Spanish, from Nahuatl ahuacamolli : ahuacatl, avocado + molli, sauce, paste.]


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Put very simply, ladies and gentlemen, I have that stuff figured out.  I’ve had it figured out for nearly 30 years.  That’s saying something too, because I’m only 32.


Even more important is the fact that I figured that stuff out in the middle of Wyoming, which stereotypically is the last place you would think that something like that could ever be figured out.


I’ve got three guacamole stories for you.  Pay attention here, because the point I’m going to make with this rant is supported by these three stories, and further gives me the necessary street credit to advance the theme in today’s verbal brilliance.


Guacamole story # 1 – Many years ago, Mom had some sort of pot luck dinner to attend for one of the organizations she was involved in.  I won’t go into a whole lot of detail about the organization and their goals, but I always suspected the meetings were held around the Pac-Man machine at the arcade in the mall.


At the time, Dad was the one who took on the duties of preparing most of the family meals, so Mom asked him to prepare guacamole for the event.


Understand here and now, ladies and gentlemen, that Dad was doing a lot of experimenting in the kitchen with some of his dishes.  He once replaced the tomato sauce in his meatloaf (I hated meatloaf and do to this day) with enchilada sauce and renamed it something like “Mexican Fiesta”.  I ate it up until he told me what he had done.  I still get pain about it to this day.


So in Dad’s creative phase in the culinary arts, he was seeking to spice things up a bit.  Due to a miscommunication between Mom and Dad, the attempts to spice things up were passed on to the guacamole when fresh jalapenos were used instead of the chiles which had been used all along.


Mom wasn’t very happy by the time she got home from her Pac-Man banquet, and assertively suggested to Dad that the guacamole was “too damn hot”.


Guacamole story #2 – In the mid-eighties, I found myself in a speech class as a junior in high school. One of our assignments was to give a speech about the construction of something. Props were not only encouraged, but expected.


In anyone’s life, one can point to a handful of very specific events that define an individual. Performing that assignment was one of those events for me. In that classroom, I made guacamole for my fellow classmates.  It was the first time I ever made it solo.  Mom had told me how to make it a day before (with chiles, not jalapenos), and we had mixed up a practice batch just to make sure I had the process down.  On the day I delivered such an awe inspiring presentation, I left two major impressions on my fellow students.  The most important impression was that the whole class wolfed down my brilliant creation as if it were going out of style.  I had none left to take home.

The second impression I left on various members of the classes of 1985, 1986, and 1987 was more accidental though. It seems the onions I used were a little strong.  As a result, a residual odor remained in that classroom and in my locker for several periods after the fact.


Guacamole story #3 – I won a contest a few years ago for my guacamole.  I got involved in said contest against three other inmates at Cubeville when we reserved a conference room one day and did an Iron Chef style throwdown where four of us sliced, diced, mashed, and mixed up our green paste combinations into palatable concoctions best served on a tortilla chip.  In a taste test among the four products, mine won.  I have the certificate to prove it.


Here’s another little tidbit about my guacamole.  A lot of people add some sort of citrus juice, or a white creamy substance like sour cream or mayo to their guacamole.  These substances tend to slow down the oxidation process within the guacamole which renders it a nasty bilirubin color.


I don’t add those items and my guacamole doesn’t oxidize.


It get’s finished off before it can even think of changing colors.


So I tell you these guacamole stories in order to make a very specific point about guacamole in general.


Nigella Lawson is one of those food people on TV who occupies space on my standard cable package sporting the faster ways to make things in a pinch.  Wifey likes to watch her show, and based on what I’ve seen, that’s all.  To my recollection, Wifey hasn’t sprung any Nigella recipes on us.  After seeing Nigella’s assault on guacamole (invented to show us the glory of Mexican food), Wifey would be well advised to stay away from some of those crack pot recipes.


That’s right.  I said it.


Crack pot.


The other night, Nigella had the gall to mix blue cheese with a couple of avocados and call it guacamole.  As she added jalapenos, she made the comment; “…if you can’t find pickled jalapenos, just substitute some dill or gherkins….”


After retching for a bit, I don’t mind telling you that I took my bitching an griping to my Facebook status.


Many years ago, I had a roommate who cut up a bunch of avocados, added some Miracle Whip, and called it guacamole.


During the aforementioned throwdown (Guacamole story #3), one of my opponents used avocados and a garlic flavored mayonnaise to make what he called guacamole.


As much as I scoff at the actions of those individuals and their efforts to refer to their respective avocado dips as guacamole, it fails in comparison to the premise that you can add blue cheese (*retch*) and pickles to avocados and get away with calling it guacamole.


It’s blasphemy if you ask me.


Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

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