The preparation of guacamole doesn’t require one to be a blooming chef, even kids and teens can easily mash up their own version presenting a colorful and tasty concoction for all to enjoy anytime.
I recently had the opportunity to prepare a big bowl of guacamole with high school sophomore and neighbor, Kaitlin Foreman as she shared an easy twist on her favorite go-to snack simply combining some finely chopped scallions, lime, cilantro, and coarse kosher salt with mashed avocados.
Sending along the final photos to Kaitlin’s Mom, Jen, I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself reminded of a saying common in my childhood. In those days, many older first or second generation immigrants frequently commented on a childs looks as if their facial patterns displayed their origin of nationality. One might ‘look’ like the ‘map’ of Italy, Germany, or what I most often over heard, ‘the map of Ireland.’
Once we finished our session, I took one look at this lovely photo and there it was staring at me, that reminisce of the past, beautiful Kaitlin ‘looking like the map of Ireland.’ With a little inquiry I learned that Kaitlin, despite having a Jewish father, indeed closely resembles her Mom’s Irish side of the family. In particular, that of her late Irish great grandmother, Ann Fitzgerald Murphy whose people hailed from County Cork, Ireland.
Knowing Kaitlin just a little bit, though happy for the beauty complient would I’m sure be happy for me to move the arrow away from her and the map of Ireland toward some fun tips and history surrounding Guacamole. So here it goes.
Originally derived from the Aztec culture, the word Guacamole means “Avocado Sauce.” The simplicity of its name then actually provides for much flexibility between ingredient combinations with traditional Guacamole only requiring the use of avocados as its base.
Still, within the Mexican cultural cuisine component of guacamole, its ‘sauce’ preparation has, for the most part, continued blending within the similar range of fresh vegetables, fruits, spices, and herb of its historical origins and climate. Some of these ingredients include tomatoes, onion, scallions, garlic, jalapeno, lime or lemon, cumin, cayenne, cilantro, and salt.
Avocados, the key ingredient in the preparation of guacamole, begin ripening after they have been harvested. Choosing a perfectly ripe avocado requires observing a balance between color and texture. Generally, a bright green avocado is not yet ripe where an avocado whose skin has darkened to a rich blackened color is the best choice for immediate preparation. The rule of thumb among avocado experts when holding an avocado in your palm of your hand is that the outer skin texture should yield to a firm gentle pressure, just soft to the touch but not mushy. Overripe avocados may feel more like a ripe tomato and the skin may have dented crevices.
With the summer months upon us, including Kaitlin’s Easy Twist on Guacamole, the bright green dipping sauce is the perfect party food for any gathering.
If purchasing avocados a few days prior to entertaining the best choice is to pick a little less ripe avocados and let them ripen on your counter. Fully ripened avocados that will not be used right away, especially in warm weather, should be refrigerated to slow their continued ripening.
Thanks to Kaitlin for sharing her go-to favorite appetizer for snacking. Buen apetito!
- 4 ripe avocados, peeled, seed removed, mashed
- 2 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
- 2 small to medium sized juicy limes, freshly squeezed, seeds removed
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more or less, according to taste
- Tumble peeled and seeded avocados into a medium sized glass bowl.
- Using a non reactive utensil such as a plastic masher, mash avocado until texture is creamy yet still retaining a bit of texture.
- Pour in the lime juice, stir. Add in the scallions, stir.
- Scrape in the chopped cilantro, stir.
- Sprinkle in the salt, stir throughout. Taste, check seasoning, adding more salt if desired.