I Hate Guacamole!
By Patrick F. Cannon
I cannot now remember the first time I experienced guacamole. It may have been at a party of some kind, where a revolutionary hostess decided to forego the classic onion dip for something more exotic. “Hello,” I said to myself when I saw the green sludge for the first time, “what could this be?”
My fellow partygoers seemed to be scooping the stuff out of the bowl with corn chips of some kind. Being the kind of fellow who’s willing to try anything once, I chose a sturdy-looking chip and dived in. I was perhaps too ambitious, as I dug down fairly deeply; too deeply in fact, resulting in the chip breaking, leaving a piece in my hand and the rest in the bowl. I popped the virgin half in my mouth, and gingerly plucked the guacamole-encrusted half out of the bowl. Into my mouth it duly went.
How can I describe this experience? It was clear to me that the mixture contained some onions and chiles, along with some other seasonings. But the thing that impressed me the most was the base – it was slimy and even greasy. I was told that this was a fruit called the avocado or (if you want to be precise, persea americana). While the fossil record indicates that versions of the fruit – technically a berry – existed in other parts of the world, the version we now eat is probably native to Mexico.
Anyway, my first exposure to the now ubiquitous fruit was not a happy one, and I have seen no reason since to change my opinion. In addition to being slimy and greasy, it has no flavor of its own (don’t give me that “it has a delicate, nut like flavor” nonsense, I’m not buying it). If you think it’s so great, why not just eat one like you would eat an apple or a peach? No? I thought not.
I do concede that the avocado is nutritious, although rather high in saturated fats. But there are more nutritious foods that also have some taste: almonds, carrots, snapper, ocean perch, cherries, tangerines, scallops, and my special favorite – pork fat! In no top 25 list of the healthiest foods that I could find did I discover the avocado. Nor did I discover the chickpea, the basis for another disgusting mess, hummus, which has joined guacamole in the hors d’ oeuvre spreads of the culinarily deluded.
Of course, one can avoid the guacamole bowl, but the avocado increasingly appears hidden in other dishes. Just the other day, I ordered a chopped salad. When it arrived, I discovered to my horror that little cubes of avocado were mixed in with the more traditional ingredients (which generally include chopped lettuce, broccoli, bacon and cheese, among others). As I was with a group, I didn’t feel I could gingerly pick out the avocado bits, so I manfully ate the salad, slime and all. The tasty dressing at least helped me get through the ordeal.
Be warned also that the dreaded green stuff is sneaking into sandwiches. You would be wise to read the entire ingredient list before ordering. After the turkey, Swiss, lettuce, tomato, and bacon often lurks the green monster. And I understand that the latest fad among people who read too many food blogs is to spread avocado on their breakfast toast instead of strawberry preserves. Imagine, your day ruined before it starts.
Copyright 2021, Patrick F. Cannon