It's the "big game" this weekend -- and also a BIG day for guacamole! Why not use local, in season avocados instead of Hass from thousands of miles away (imports)?
In season right now are delicious Bacon avocados, as well as Zutano, Fuerte and Pinkertons! All of these varieties make amazing, savory, oil-rich guacamole.
Always use the best, in season heritage avocado that is perfectly ripe. You can see all kinds of avocado varieties and what is seasonal at www.AvocadoDiva.com/heritage.
Depending on the variety, you can tell if its ripe by the following characteristics:
For winter's “green,” thin-skinned avocados – you can tell they are ripe by pressing on the fruit with your whole palm. If it gives and feels like the tip of your nose (soft, but not too soft) it’s ready to eat.
For summer's bumpy skinned avocados – often the avocado will turn a dark purple-black and also be soft to the palm. Certain summer avocados do NOT get soft – as the skin is too thick – in that case, you can tell if they are ripe by pushing on the stem – if it gives in, it's probably ripe. You can remove the stem and if you see green flesh, it’s ripe, but not over ripe. (Over ripe will look black or brown).
Never use a metal bowl with avocados as metal makes the avocado turn brown faster. Always use a plastic or ceramic bowl.
If possible, use a certamic or a Teflon covered knife for cutting your avocado. This will also help the avocado not turn brown.
Basic guacamole ingredients are avocados, salt, and lime. Always use a flakey sea salt and use a lot, as avocados are very bland. The lime or lemon should be fresh, plump and full of juice.
Lime or lemon juice is classic; however, any acid will work to help keep the avocado from turning brown. For example, you can use grapefruit or a vinegar.
Additional, classic guacamole ingredients are onion, garlic, tomato, peppers and, perhaps, cilantro. For the best guacamole, always use the freshest, in-season produce.
Ideally, you sould use both mashed avocados as well as some large chunks of avocados. Smash 2/3 of your avocado and reserve the other 1/3 in chunks to mix in to the final dip.
Food tastes best when it has a lot of contrast – creamy and crunchy, spicy and cool, salty and sweet. The perfect guacamole has a balance of all of these:
- smooth avocado as well as chunks
- salt as well as sweet tomatoes
- hot peppers and bland avocado
- creamy dip with a crunchy chip
There are many myths and ideas about how to store guacamole. The most important thing is to store the guacamole in a non-metal container with an air tight seal pressed right on the dip. For example – put the guacamole in a ceramic bowl and put plastic wrap right on the dip and mash it down a bit. No air. That’s the key.
Prepare ahead of time so the flavors mingle. For the perfect guacamole, make it 4 to 8 hours ahead of time so that the onion mellows and mingles with the avocado. If you use hot peppers, it allows the heat to penetrate the dip. But don’t make it TOO far ahead of time – as the avocado can turn too brown or over ripen if more than 48 hours.
— Brenda Cusick is an active community member in Moorpark, CA, where she is a mom, Girl Scout leader and the Avocado Diva, a small avocado-shipping business owner.