Guacamole or “guac” is a smooth dip made of buttery avocados, red onions, tomatoes, cilantro and lime.
Creamy, fresh, and flavorful, it’s easy to make at home as a breakfast spread or side dish for dinner too!
What is guacamole? Where did Guacamole originate?
The Aztecs have been making guacamole for centuries. Of course, at that time it was called āhuacamōlli in the Nahuatl language, which translates to “avocado sauce” in English. Ahuacamōlli and consisted of grinding avocados, lime juice and sugar using a molcajete y tejolote (mortar and pestle).
When the Spanish reached Mexico in the 1500s they incorporated the dish into their diet and started calling it guacamole, while pronouncing it waka’mole.
Then in 1679, William Dampner, through lack of other options started a life of piracy in the Caribbean. While paying for his crimes in a Spanish prison, he wrote the novel “A New Voyage Around the World” detailing his travels and the cultures he encountered.
In that novel was the first known recipe for authentic guacamole, which soon became the popular dish it is today.
How Do You Keep Guacamole From Turning Brown?
There are many popular ways to keep guacamole from turning brown, but here are the two that work the best.
Method 1 – Use Lime or Lemon Juice
Put the guacamole in an airtight container, and flatten it with a spoon till it’s level and there are no air pockets left. Cover it with a thin layer of lime juice or lemon juice. Close the container and store in the refrigerator till ready to serve.
The citric acid in the lime or lemon juice prevents the avocado from turning brown by slowing down the oxidation process. Discard the layer of lime juice before serving.
But when using lime juice or lemons there’s always the chance that oxygen will reach the “guac” and turn some of it brown. So here’s a better method!
Method 2 – Use Water as a Barrier
Put the guacamole in an airtight container, and flatten it with a spoon till it’s level and there are no air pockets left. Cover it with half an inch of water.
The water acts as a barrier that prevents oxygen from reaching the guacamole. Close the container and store it in the refrigerator till ready to serve.
You don’t have to worry about the water getting mixed with the guacamole because the guacamole is a lot denser than won’t allow the water to seep in.
Another reason water doesn’t mix with guacamole is because the high fat content in guacamole keeps the water out.
Discard the layer of water before serving.
Recipe Pointers For Homemade Guacamole
- Guacamole is gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan!
- You can use lemon juice instead of lime juice.
- Only use fresh lime or lemon juice. Bottled juice doesn’t taste as good.
- If you can’t find Salsa Valentina, add in a few chopped chiles or jalapenos.
- You can make the guacamole smooth or chunky depending on your taste.
- Serve with crunchy nachos or vegetable sticks as a snack or add to toast for breakfast.
- Or serve as a side dish with enchiladas or burritos.
- For something different, serve the guacamole in canapes topped with cilantro and onions.
FAQs about Authentic Guacamole
How do you choose the best avocados to make guacamole?
When picking avocados, check that they’re ripe. They avocado should yield slightly when you press it gently. It shouldn’t be too soft or too firm. If it’s too firm, you’ll have to wait a day or two to make the guacamole. If it’s too soft, you don’t want it either.
Do I need to use a Molcajete?
No, you don’t have to use a molcajete (traditional mortar and pestle). You can use any regular bowl and mash the avocados with a spoon or fork.
Can I make guacamole in a food processor?
You can, and you’ll end up with a really smooth textured guacamole. But it’s not recommended. Guacamole doesn’t taste as authentic if it’s too pasty.
Can You Freeze avocados?
Yes, you can freeze avocados by removing the pits, covering it with lemon juice and wrapping it in plastic wrap. But you shouldn’t freeze avocados!
When avocados are frozen they lose their smooth texture and become watery, slimy, and mushy. Plus, once the frozen avocados thaw they are exposed to air and brown rapidly. The difference in taste and texture is not really worth the effort.
Can you make guacamole ahead of time?
Yes, you can make guacamole up to 2 days prior to eating and store it in the refrigerator. But it’s always better to eat it fresh once made.
Can I eat guacamole if it has turned brown?
If the guacamole has turned brown, it means it has undergone an oxidation process, much like apples and potatoes. The guacamole might be mushier than it started out and a tad bitter.
But as long as it has been stored properly in the refrigerator for less than 2 to 3 days, it should be good to eat. If the guacamole smells funny or looks bubbly, throw it in the trash.
- 2 guacamoles, riped but not too soft
- 1/4 red onion, chopped very finely
- 1 tomato, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/2 half of lime
- 1/2 teaspoon of Salsa Valentina
- Cut avocados in half, take out the inside and remove the pits.
- Mash the avocados in a molcajete (or regular bowl). You can leave small chunks of avocados if you like.
- Mix in tomatoes, onion, salsa Valentina and pinch of salt to taste, leaving a tiny bit of tomatoes for decoration. Squeeze in your lime juice and mix again.
- Decorate with the leftover tomatoes and cilantro.
Make sure to chop your onions & tomatoes into small cubes, not long pieces.
You can skip Salsa Valentina - it's my personal twist on this recipe and I'm yet to find a person who doesn't love it that way.