The story of Guacamole is almost as old as history itself. In fact, the story of guacamole can be traced all the way back to the Aztecs and the Spaniards who brought it to their homeland. Back then it was known as a quinceanera, which literally means “dipped in sweet Spanish water.” It was not healthy food but more of a fruit drink made from ripe avocados. For centuries people would dip pieces of fruit in it and then enjoy the resulting dip.
In recent times, various versions of guacamole have been created, varying according to regions and countries, but retaining the basic ingredients of avocado, sugar, water, and onion. Today, it is available in many popular variations: from the original flavor of fresh fruit mixed with salsa (this being the classic “guacamole”) to the lighter and gentler white version, using just onion and no fruit at all. Another variation of guacamole is the Mexican version, which has much less avocado and much more tomatoes and chilies. One very famous variation is made with mascara, a pimento tree, that is dried and used to give the dips their characteristic sourness.
Who Invented Guacamole? Likely it was the Spaniards who introduced this popular dip to Mexico and other parts of Latin America. They were the ones who first soaked raw avocados in water, made a cheese sauce out of them, and used the resulting paste to dip crackers, cookies, and other foods. In some cases, the cheese sauce was even added to other foods to make them more delicious. Around the same time, small chunks of onion were discovered in large pouches that were found in storage jars.
What Ingredients Make Guacamole A Must-Have? It contains plenty of vegetables, especially the chopped avocados. But it also has some key ingredients that are very helpful in slimming down: onions, garlic, salt, lime juice, and water. All of these ingredients are helpful in making the dip a dieter’s delight.
Why Put It On a Plastic Wrap? The original recipe for guacamole was likely made with raw avocados. They must have been wrapped in vegetable oil and salt before they were packed. That way, the avocado would stay fresher longer and the salt wouldn’t wash it away. Later, some people learned that placing the mixture on a clean plastic wrap helped preserve it a bit longer.
Why Buy It From a Restaurant? At one time, people bought guacamole from a “guacamole commission” stand. (Actually, no such thing exists; people do not pay for avocado products at stores.) Essentially, these stands offered consumers a chance to buy a limited amount of avocados for a low price. At the time, many people assumed this was the real guacamole, and nobody bothered to investigate whether or not the “competition” was actually true. Many people assumed that avocados that had been “prepared” at these stands were just as tasty as the “real deal.”
How Does it Come About? A few cooks who happened to live near a resident of Vera Cruz (where the authentic ingredients for the authentic guacamole originated) started making and selling it themselves. They called their version “serrano,” which in Spanish means “from the mountains.” It wasn’t long before the recipe Mexican avocado spread throughout Mexico and eventually all over the world.
So, What is the Real Thing? Unfortunately, I don’t know. The good news is that authentic Mexican guacamole is delicious and quite tasty if you truly understand what goes into preparing it. It’s also fairly cheap to purchase, which is always a plus. But please keep the ingredients secret if you decide to make your own.