The secret to making the best Guacamole is to use the freshest ingredients you can find. The main ingredient avocados, should be firm but still give a little when pressed, which means you might have to purchase them in advance and let them ripen close to some other fruit for a day or so before using. The size and variety of avocados will vary between countries and seasons, and though there are hundreds of varieties of avocado, the Hass is the most popular commercial variety worldwide and in the US it accounts for more than 80% of the crop. Every Hass avocado can be traced to a single tree grown by Rudolph Hass, an amateur horticulturist, in California in 1926. The avocado, avocado pear or alligator pear is fruit (technically a berry) native to Central American and belongs to the same plant family as cinnamon. The word ‘avocado’ comes from the Spanish word ‘aguacate’, which in turn comes from an Aztec word ‘ahuácatl’, meaning testicle, which put with their word molli, meaning sauce, gives us guacamole.
- 2 large ripe Hass avocados
- The juice from 1 large lime
- A big handful of cilantro (fresh coriander), chopped finely
- 1/3 of a red onion finely chopped
- 1 Serrano chili (remove the ribs and seeds if you want it milder, or replace with a Jalapeño)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
First run a small, sharp knife all the way around the avocado, starting at the top and cutting right in until the knife touches the pit. Gently twist the two halves apart in opposite directions. Using a large chef’s knife strike the heel into the pit, being careful that it doesn’t slip and hit your hand. Twist the knife and the pit will come right out. Use a large spoon and scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl. Quickly add the lime juice, add the rest of the ingredients and mash using a potato masher until the avocado is creamy, but there are still lumps. If you aren’t using the guacamole straight away you need to cover the it with plastic wrap to reduce contact with air to prevent browning. It is great just by itself with tortilla chips or even spread on a sandwich.
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