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Guacamole in a bowl

National Guacamole Day, September 16th

September 16th is National Guacamole Day!  Wait, I love Guacamole. How did I not hear about this before now?

The Humble Avocado
guacamole on slice of bread with cilantro and red pepper flake garnish

Avocado on toast. UF/IFAS Photo by Cristina Carriz 5-20-20.

Here in Florida, early settlers to the state called them Alligator-pears.  Where I grew up, we called them Avocado-pears. As a child, I ate avocado-pear sliced as a garnish on the side of my plate, diced into salads, or mashed with a light sprinkling of salt and spread on bread.  However, guacamole has now become a ‘thing’ for me.  I like to try Guacamole recipes with different healthful or flavorful ingredients in them.  The most interesting ones have “authentic” in their description.

Though I have had mashed avocado before, the additional seasonings and chopped vegetables in guacamole add more joy to the palate.  It is kismet that National Guacamole Day is at the beginning of football season.  Guacamole is an appetizing alternative dip for your game-day crunchy snacks.  Traditional tortilla chips can be supplemented with celery, cucumber, and carrot sticks.  Here are a few recipes that I have enjoyed in the past that you can try out over the next few weeks.

bowl of guacamole, tortilla chips for dipping, and halved avocado

Bowl of fresh guacamole, tortilla chips, by a halved avocado Photo by Cristina Carriz 5-20-20.

  • Guacamole- https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/14231/guacamole/.  This is a very basic recipe.  Good for a person who needs to make it quick and easy.  Try to finely chop fresh garlic for a sharper flavor.  Alternatively, try it with roasted garlic, YUMMY!
  • Alton Brown’s Guacamole- https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/guacamole-recipe-1940609. He adds jalapenos and cumin for a very authentic style guacamole.  I have used plain salt without incident.
  • Delish guacamole– https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a45570/best-ever-guacamole-recipe/.  Heavy on the cilantro, tomatoes are optional in this recipe.

As with all things people enjoy, there are many ways to savor this tasty and healthy food.  There is no “right way” to have your guacamole- whether chunky or smooth avocado with either large or finely chopped onions, tomatoes, and jalapenos.  Go crazy and have fun with your combinations and textures.

Regardless of how you prepare this wonderful dip, try using fresh Florida avocados.  Buy local and you might just find a few out-of-the-ordinary varieties of avocado to try.  There are purple-skinned ‘Brogdon’, ‘Foot-longs’, and the red-skinned ‘Hardee’ (my favorite). Both the ‘Loretta’ and ‘Marcus’ cultivars can bear fruits weighing over two pounds each!

To learn more about growing Avocado in your landscape, the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has an excellent EDIS (Electronic Data Information Source) publication entitled, “Avocado Growing in the Florida Home Landscape”, complete with tables (don’t forget to expand them!) and charts of all the best Avocado varieties for your area of Florida.

If you already have a productive avocado tree in your Florida landscape and are looking for more avocado uses, the UF/IFAS EDIS publication, “South Florida Tropicals: Avocado” has some great recipes including nutritional information.