Smooth vs. Chunky: Not Peanut Butter, GUACAMOLE

ChunkyGuacamoleHP.jpg
Photo by sea turtle
Chunky guacamole

I realized the other day the real reason why I don't purchase packaged guacamole, ever. I virtually always just buy ripe avocados, tomatoes, limes and maybe some onions and mash them all together in my favorite red mixing bowl with a small chip from the time I accidentally dropped it on the kitchen floor following the unexpected appearance of an albino squirrel outside my window.

Cooking a particular type of food exclusively at home, by the way, is extremely unusual for me. In fact, I can't think of another food item that I never buy and always make by hand. My husband, on the other hand, would, if he had the opportunity, combine hydrogen and oxygen to render his own water.

CrappyGuacamoleHP.jpg
Photo by Cory Doctorow
More like crapamole.
Originally, my aversion to buying guacamole was motivated by financial reasons because it's usually about 150 percent cheaper to buy the ingredients yourself. But I know now that even if I won the lottery tomorrow, I would continue to boycott grocery store versions because I demand chunky guacamole. And that type of 'mole, my friends, H-E-B, Kroger, Randalls, etc. seem incapable of selling.

I have no objections to guacamole that is balanced and moderately blended. Certainly, you don't want your chip to emerge holding nothing but tomatoes and peppers with a vague glaze of avocado. An evenly mixed guacamole, however, does not have to come at the expense of chunks, which are integral to the superior guacamole experience. That overly creamed crap you so often find in the supermarket is not a robust dip nor a thick sauce, it's a mangy soup. If you dunk a Tostito into it, the chip emerges dripping. That is not good.

Premade/store-bought guacamole and chunky guacamole shouldn't in theory be mutually exclusive, but they sure seem to be. I can only then assume that I am in the minority with regards to my strong feelings regarding the necessity of chunks in guacamole. But readers, have you found a brand or store version of guacamole that actually resembles the rockier mixture I so passionately insist upon?

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22 comments
kurliak
kurliak

I prefer chunky, but that photo is ridiculous. It looks more like avocado pico de gallo than guacamole. Let's not carry things to extremes, folks. Properly made, the avocado in guacamole is mashed, not diced.

That said, "smooth" or "minimal chunks" isn't right either. Guac isn't baby food. It's time to grow up now. 

I agree with the person who said that the important thing is for the side ingredients--the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño--to be chunky. And don't forget the cilantro either. 

To the person who said "no chunks of onion": I hear you. I don't care for raw onion either. But it's important for the individual ingredients to be distinguishable. The hallmark of all my cooking now is "no mincing!" 

Sometimes items you don't care for are perfect accompaniments, and a dish is deficient without them. Cheese enchiladas without chopped cebollas atop them? Not on your life. 

Things don't have to be so difficult. If you end up with some smooth store-bought guac, why not just add chunky ingredients, including chunks of avocado? Again, the idea is to have a combination of mashed and chunked avocado. Not pico de avocado.

Noelle A. Perry
Noelle A. Perry

smooth. i make my own too, and i smash the ingredients to within an inch of their lives.

Mark Markovich
Mark Markovich

Chunky. House made or home made guacamole is always chunky. The smooth stuff was always made in some factory a couple of months earlier. This one generalization that seems to always be true.

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

The HEB made in store stuff is pretty legit. And yes, guac should be chunky.

uuuzz
uuuzz

doesn't anyone use garlic?

Adrienne Byard
Adrienne Byard

Taqueria guacamole is Avocado, salt, and lime. Not all guacamole.

Sally Padley
Sally Padley

Definitely chunky. I quit eating library paste when I left kindergarten. :)

Kathy Stabe
Kathy Stabe

I learned my guac recipe from a Mexican person, Pony. It blew my mind and I never went back.

Pony Eugene Hutchins
Pony Eugene Hutchins

Guacamole should be avacado, salt and lime. Anything else is white people crap.

Kathy Stabe
Kathy Stabe

And the author is wrong about the Wholly Guacamole being runny or soupy. It's quite thick.

Kathy Stabe
Kathy Stabe

The avocado should be pretty well smooshed, minimal chunks. But it should be chunky because then you add diced tomato and onion, minced jalapeno, and chopped cilantro. Salt and pepper, about a tablespoon of lime juice, perfection. That Wholly Guacamole stuff isn't bad. I use it as a base sometimes.

June Mills Butler
June Mills Butler

It can be smooth or chunky - as long as it is fresh! (ie: NOT premade-storebought.)

neilquan
neilquan

You're right on about this. The store guac is awful by comparison. They say 100% avocado but it doesnt taste that way.

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

@Kathy Jo Lemeron Price

Ditto.  It's the same answer I would give if the question were "Beer or wine?"

jsoleary
jsoleary

@Kathy Stabe I'm exaggerating a bit, but when I've tried it (and, I admit, not recently), it was a pretty shameful texture.

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