What Is Guacamole: Your Guac FAQ

Along with sizzling fajitas and getting a shrimp flipped into your mouth at Benihana’s, one of the greatest restaurant experiences is tableside guacamole. But have you ever stopped to really think about what goes into it? What is guacamole? What is guacamole made of? And, while we’re asking questions, can you eat brown guacamole? Let’s dip into some answers about guacamole. 

What is guacamole?

Guacamole is a dip made out of smashed avocados and a few other ingredients. Guacamole, or guac if you are on a first name basis, originated in Mexican cuisine and became a standalone dip anywhere for any occasion. 

What’s in guacamole?

You really only need three things to make guac: avocados, salt, and lime. Avocados doused in salt and lime juice then smashed with a fork, or in a mortar and pestle contraption called a molcajete, will make you a fine guacamole. Remember, always smash that avocado. Never blend and never whip. You can fancy it up with chopped onions, tomatoes, serrano peppers or jalapeno peppers, and cilantro. Maybe add a dash of cumin. Some people go off the deep end with other ingredients like cheese or seeds, or, gasp, peas. But simple is usually best.

best guacamole at the grocery store

Best Store Bought Guacamole

What’s the best store bought guacamole? We tasted a bunch of the top brands on the market to find the best guac that actually tastes like avocado.

Where did guacamole originate?

Guacamole comes from Mexico. It was most likely invented by the Aztecs, though it may even be pre-Aztec, as avocado seeds that date back 9,000 years have been found in Mexico’s Tehuacan Valley. The Aztecs called their smashed avocado concoction “ahuacamolli,” a combination of their words ahuacatl for “avocado,” and molli for “sauce.” The Aztec word ahuacatl also means “testicle,” a reference to avocado’s shape and how it can grow in pairs on trees. 

Why does guacamole turn brown and can you eat brown guacamole?

Have you ever cut an avocado and not used all of it? You put the leftover half in the fridge but almost immediately it turns brown. That is perfectly natural and it happens to all of us. It’s just a process called oxidation. This, of course, happens to our guacamole, as well. 

So, if you end up with a bowlful of brown guacamole, can you still eat it? Avocados contain an enzyme called ​​polyphenol oxidase. It’s the same thing that’s in apples that makes them turn brown after they’re sliced. That enzyme reacts to oxygen and creates a brown color. Don’t worry about it. A little brown guacamole isn’t going to kill you. Guacamole can stay fresh and tasty, even if it gets a little brown, for around two to three days in your refrigerator. Don’t leave some uncovered guac in your fridge for, like, two weeks then eat it and tell your doctor, “the guy from the guacamole article said it was okay!” I’m not saying that. What I’m saying is, if you made too much guacamole and can’t eat it all within a couple of days, just call me over and I’ll finish it for you.

About the Author

Will Morgan

Will Morgan, a freelance contributor to Sporked, is an L.A. based writer, actor, and sketch comedy guy. Originally from Houston, TX, he strongly believes in the superiority of breakfast tacos to breakfast burritos. Will traveled the world as one of those people that did yoyo shows at elementary school assemblies, always making a point to find local and regional foods to explore in whatever place he was, even in rinky-dink towns like Tilsonberg, ON. Will spends his birthdays at Benihana’s. Let him know if can make it.

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