I did not have guacamole growing up. It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I went on a date to my first “real” fancy Mexican (chain) restaurant. My date ordered guacamole and that was the first time I remember ever trying it. It was scary, nevertheless, and I braved through it but wasn’t really much of a fan of guacamole.
Over the years, I have tried it many times both at restaurants and homemade at house parties and have now really acquired a taste for it. My husband and I began making it at home and it is quite simple. This is another one of those recipes that friends try and instantly want the recipe. It’s comprised of simple fresh ingredients and takes just a minute or two to prepare. I do also make plain guacamole dip without the addition of the fresh salsa but once my husband and I tried this version, there was no turning back for us. The real key here to the best tasting fresh guacamole is in the salt, lime, and fresh avocados If the avocado is under ripe, you will taste that in your guacamole.
Here are some avocado facts and tips I follow:
First, Hass Avocados do not ripen on the tree. They ripen only after they have been harvested. Hass Avocados change from a dark-green color to a deep purplish to almost black hue when ripe. Although skin color can help in the initial visual selection of Hass Avocados it is not always the best indicator of ripeness. Ripeness is ultimately determined by pressure since color can sometimes be misleading.
Pick up an avocado and gently squeeze in your hand without using your fingertips (which can cause it to bruise). If the avocado yields to firm gentle pressure you know it’s ripe and ready-to-eat. If the avocado does not yield to gentle pressure it is considered still “firm” and will be ripe in a couple of days. If the avocado feels mushy or very soft to the touch it is overripe. The “overripe” varieties, to me, look almost black in color and are looking a little wrinkly and unappealing looking.
Keeping this pressure test in mind when I do my grocery shopping (unless I am making salsa and guacamole that same day) I buy the firmer avocados which give me the two days lead way I need and allows them to finish ripening. If my recipe is 4 days out, I buy the more green, harder Haas avocados and allow them to ripen on my counter. If they start to ripen too fast, I put them in my vegetable crisper to slow down the process.
Of course, as with most things, practice makes perfect. I purchased a few different ones at different stages to see what they looked and tasted like inside. The more firm ones were still edible but leave a noticeable after taste in the guacamole which I can only describe as “tasting green.” Practice picking and purchasing avocados really helped me learn what to look for when I was in the store in order to be able to make the perfect guacamole.
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 finely chopped jalapeno pepper
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 fully ripened avocados halved, pitted, and removed from the peel
- salt to taste
- In medium bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime juice. In a large bowl, mash the avocados to the desired texture and then stir in the contents from your salsa bowl. Season with salt to taste. Spoon into serving bowl; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate about 1 hour to blend flavors. Serve with chips or veggies, if desired.
- Note: Guacamole will turn brown after prolonged exposure to air. The lime juice will help slow down this process but does not eliminate it. For that reason, this is a dish I prepare as close to dinner or party time as possible. Store bought guacamole does not turn brown due to the additives and preservatives during the preparation and cooking process. I have found that I can slow overnight browning on leftovers (if any) by placing plastic wrap right onto the surface of the guacamole (much like you would on a bowl of pudding to keep a "skin" from forming).