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Guacamole IMGP1265.jpg
Guacamole, avocado, lime and herbs
Type Dip
Place of origin Mexico
Main ingredients Avocados, sea salt, lime juice
Variations Mantequilla de pobre
Cookbook: Guacamole  Media: Guacamole

Guacamole (Spanish: [wakaˈmole]; or[ɡwakaˈmole]; can informally be referred to as "guac" in North America [1]) is an avocado-based dip or salad first created by the Aztecs in what is now Mexico.[2] In addition to its use in modern Mexican cuisine, it has also become part of American cuisine as a dip, condiment and salad ingredient.[3][4]

Etymology and pronunciation[edit]

The name comes from an Aztec dialect via Nahuatl āhuacamolli [aːwakaˈmolːi], which literally translates to "avocado sauce", from āhuacatl [aːˈwakat͡ɬ] ("avocado") + molli [ˈmolːi] ("sauce", literally "concoction").[2] In Mexican Spanish, it is pronounced [wakaˈmole], in American English, it is sometimes pronounced /ɡwɑːkəˈml/, and in British English, /ˌwækəˈml/. The name of the Guatemalan version has the final "e" omitted (Spanish: [wakaˈmol]).[citation needed]


Avocados were first cultivated in Central America, as early as 7,000 BC. The exact country and area of origin is still debated.[5] From there, the avocado made its way north to Mexico, where the Aztecs turned the fruit into guacamole as early as the 1300s.[6]

Aztecs made Guacamole dip by at least the 16th century.[2] A Spanish-English pronunciation guide from 1900 lists guacamole as a "salad of alligator pear".[7]

Guacamole has pushed avocado sales in the US to 30 million pounds on two days a year: Super Bowl Sunday and Cinco de Mayo.[8][citation needed][dubious ]


Homemade guacamole
Guacamole with tortilla chips

Guacamole dip is traditionally made by mashing ripe avocados and sea salt with a molcajete (mortar and pestle). Some recipes call for tomato, onion, garlic, lemon or lime juice, chili or cayenne pepper, cilantro or basil, jalapeño, and/or additional seasonings. Some non-traditional recipes call for sour cream as the main ingredient. Guacamole is also a word for avocado in some areas in Latin America.[2]

On July 2, 2013, the New York Times published a guacamole recipe that included the addition of English peas.[9] Two years later, on July 1, 2015, the newspaper posted a link to the article on Twitter account with the caption, "Add green peas to your guacamole. Trust us." The post sparked overwhelmingly negative feedback from their readers and followers, which prompted the media to pick-up on the story,[10] calling the incident "Guacamolegate."[11]

Due to the presence of polyphenol oxidase in the cells of avocado, exposure to oxygen in the air causes an enzymatic reaction develops melanoidin pigment, turning the sauce brown.[12] This result is generally considered unappetizing, and there are several methods (some anecdotal) that are used to counter this effect.[12]

Composition and nutrients[edit]

As the major ingredient of guacamole is raw avocado, the nutritional value of the dish derives from avocado vitamins, minerals and fats, providing dietary fiber, several B vitamins, vitamin K, vitamin E and potassium in significant content (see Daily Value percentages in nutrient table for avocado). Avocados are a source of saturated fat, monounsaturated fat and phytosterols, such as beta-sitosterol.[13][14] They also contain carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein (table).[15]

Avocados, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g
Energy 670 kJ (160 kcal)
8.53 g
Starch 0.11 g
Sugars 0.66 g
Dietary fiber 6.7 g
14.66 g
Saturated 2.126
Trans 0
Monounsaturated 9.8
Polyunsaturated 1.816
Vitamin A equiv.
7 μg
62 μg
271 μg
Vitamin A 146 IU
Thiamine (B1)
0.067 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.130 mg
Niacin (B3)
1.738 mg
1.389 mg
Vitamin B6
0.257 mg
Folate (B9)
81 μg
14.2 mg
Vitamin C
10.0 mg
Vitamin E
2.07 mg
Vitamin K
21 μg
12 mg
0.55 mg
29 mg
52 mg
485 mg
7 mg
0.64 mg
Other constituents
Water 73.23
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Similar foods[edit]

Mantequilla de pobre[edit]

Mantequilla de pobre (Spanish for "poor-man's butter") is a mixture of avocado, tomato, oil, and citrus juice. Despite its name, it predates the arrival of dairy cattle in the Americas, and thus was not originally made as a butter substitute.[3]


Thinner and more acidic,[16] or thick and chunky,[17] guasacaca is a Venezuelan avocado-based sauce; it is made with vinegar,[18] and is served over parrillas (grilled food), arepas, empanadas, and various other dishes. It is common to make the guasacaca with a little hot sauce instead of jalapeño, but like a guacamole, it is not usually served as a hot sauce itself. Pronounced "wasakaka" in Latin America.[19]

Salat avocado[edit]

Salat avocado (Hebrew: סלט אבוקדו‎) is a rural Israeli avocado salad, with lemon juice and chopped scallions (spring onions) with salt and black pepper added, was introduced by farmers who planted avocado trees on the coastal plain in the 1920s. Avocados have since become a winter delicacy and are cut into salads as well as being spread on bread today also with pita and flat bread.[20] usually eaten in the villages of the coastal plain. It is also common today to add cumin before adding the lemon juice as well as feta cheese or safed cheese.

Commercial products[edit]

Prepared guacamoles are available in stores, often available refrigerated, frozen or in high pressure packaging which pasteurizes and extends shelf life if products are maintained at 34 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Oxford Dictionary". 
  2. ^ a b c d Zeldes, Leah A. (November 4, 2009). "Eat this! Guacamole, a singing sauce, on its day". Dining Chicago. Chicago's Restaurant & Entertainment Guide, Inc. Retrieved November 5, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Beard, James; Bittman, Mark (September 4, 2007). Beard on Food: The Best Recipes and Kitchen Wisdom from the Dean of American Cooking. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. pp. 86–87. ISBN 978-1-59691-446-9. Retrieved March 14, 2012. 
  4. ^ Smith, Andrew F. (May 1, 2007). The Oxford companion to American food and drink. Oxford University Press. pp. 144–146. ISBN 978-0-19-530796-2. Retrieved March 14, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Food Timeline FAQs: Mexican & Tex Mex foods.". Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  6. ^ "Food history: guacamole (and the avocado)". Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  7. ^ Edward Gray, A New Pronouncing Dictionary of the Spanish and English Languages, Part 1 (D. Appleton, 1900) 349.
  8. ^ Charles, Jeffrey (2002). "8. Searching for gold in Guacamole: California growers market the avocado, 1910–1994". In Belasco, Warren; Scranton, Philip. Food nations: selling taste in consumer societies. Routledge. pp. 131–154. ISBN 0-415-93077-4. Retrieved September 20, 2011. 
  9. ^ CLARK, MELISSA (July 2, 2013), "Green Pea Guacamole", The New York Times. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  10. ^ Lo Dico, Joy (July 2, 2015), "Mind your peas and Qs over guacamole." Evening Standard. :16
  11. ^ Zillman, Claire (July 14, 2015). "Adding peas to guacamole is actually terrible for the environment," Fortune p. 1.
  12. ^ a b Hartel, 2009, p. 43
  13. ^ "Avocados, raw, all commercial varieties, per 100 grams". 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  14. ^ "Avocados: Health Benefits, Nutritional Information". MNT. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  15. ^ Dreher ML, Davenport AJ (2013). "Hass avocado composition and potential health effects". Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 53 (7): 738–50. doi:10.1080/10408398.2011.556759. PMC 3664913. PMID 23638933. 
  16. ^ "Caracas Calling". New York Press (Manhattan Media). July 13, 2004. Retrieved March 4, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Guasacaca — Venezuelan-style Guacamole". July 2, 2009. Retrieved October 6, 2013. 
  18. ^ Serpa, Diego (1968). "Avocado Culture in Venezuela" (PDF). California Avocado Society 1968 Yearbook 52: 153–168. ISSN 0096-5960. Retrieved March 4, 2010. 
  19. ^ "guasacaca". Oxford Spanish-English Dictionary. Retrieved 2016-02-01.  Sound file is at "LAT.AM.SP", to the right of the headword near the top of the window.
  20. ^ Ansky, pg. 50
  21. ^ "High-pressure processing ideal for guacamole lovers". The Packer. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 


  • Hartel, Richard W and Hartel, AnnaKate (Mar 1, 2009), Food Bites: the Science of the Foods We Eat; Springer Science & Business Media, ISBN 0387758453