As a person who has made guacamole for a number of years, to general delight if not outright acclamation, I was surprised to discover something new about preparing it.
I’ve spent years dicing red onion, tomatoes, jalapeno, and cilantro, peeling my garlic, and juicing my limes before finally opening, scooping, and smashing up my avocados (to minimize oxidation time). I’ve experimented with adding anything from kosher salt to additional dried onion and garlic to cumin to parsley to cayenne. I knew I didn’t want it to be brown, bland, or overly creamy: it’s best with a few chunks of avocado still recognizable.
Recently, the pantry held a number of properly ripe avocados, perhaps 4, and one rather under-ripe specimen. I was in a hurry and wanted to use them all, so each half of the under-ripe one was scored horizontally and vertically, then scooped into the bowl with the rest.
What follows is alchemy.
Long have I held that the lime juice constitutes a bit of alchemy: it transforms mere mashed avocado into guacamole, transmutes this green lipid into delight.
Cubes of less-ripe, sturdier avocado do something of the same thing, but require less caution to avoid over-mixing. They prevent utter homogeneity, so that every bite is different in structure and flavor: this one saltier, this one limier, this one hotter, that one with more bite of onion and tang of tomato. The flavorful spaces contrast with the unflavored avocado itself. Those chunks are rests, the silences between the power chords of all the other ingredients.
To those of you about to rock some guac, we salute you!