Monday, April 14, 2008

The Golden Triangle of Guacamole

Guacamole is an art form, not just a condiment. I make a big deal about guacamole, I eat it frequently, and when I go to Mexican restaurants, I order based on what comes with a side of guac. It's one of the great pleasures of life.

It also seems like everyone on earth has their own "secret recipe." I've had guac presented as nothing more than crushed avocados, and elaborate, colorful concoctions of tomato, corn, onion, and carrot. One could almost say that guacamole is controversial. Lemon or lime? Tomatoes? Cilantro? Sour cream? Chunky or a big pile of green, creamy gloop?

I say, make it however you want. Let's rejoice in the diversity and flexibility of the avocado. However, in an attempt to guide the making of perfect guacamole, I present the following tool to help.

The golden triangle of guacamole:Similar to life, guacamole is all about achieving balance. As long as you achieve a balance right for you, who cares how you get there. Guac has three components, and suggestions for those components are included. Mix and match however you want
  • Avocado
  • Tomato
  • Cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Onion
  • Chili powder
  • Pepper
  • Green chilies
Experiment away, but consider the occasion. Guac must adapt. If it's a stand-alone dip, you probably want something a little more full-flavored, chunky, with vegetables (tomatoes, onion, etc.). If it's a topping for tacos or in a burrito, you'll want to to be smoother, simpler, and less in-your-face.

Now after all this theory and philosophy, let me give you my interpretation of guacamole. I would use this one for topping and stuffing, not as a dip with chips. For another, chunky version better suited for a dip, click here.


  • 2 large, ripe avocados
  • A large spoonful of sour cream
  • The juice of 1 lime (have some more on hand, you can also use some lemon juice if it's not zingy enough)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic or about 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Several sprigs of fresh cilantro
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
Put half of one avocado, the sour cream, lime juice, garlic, several cilantro leaves, and the chili powder in a food processor and blend until very smooth.

In another bowl, smash the remaining avocado with a fork, leaving it quite chunky. Add the processed mixture and mix well, seasoning with salt (you'll probably need a good bit) and pepper. Add more of anything you think it needs until balance is achieved.

1 comment:

sunni said...

I'm impressed that you've tackled the topic of guacamole on your blog--especially since it has been the source of an ongoing feud and much debate. My sense is that you are trying to be very diplomatic about the issue, while still letting the world know that your guac is best.

Three questions...first, did you really mention adding lemon in your recipe?

Second, is that your real recipe--have you left off the secret ingredient?

Third, are you saying my guac is 'in your face' and 'nothing more than crushed avacados'? [I would argue that those are good for any occasion...]

Who knew that one could have such strong feelings about guacamole...