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

Guacamole (Spanish: [wakaˈmole]; or [ɡwakaˈmole]; can informally be referred to as "guac" in North America [1]) is an avocado-based dip or salad that began with the Aztecs in 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] It 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, yogurt, cilantro or basil, jalapeño, peas and/or additional seasonings.[5]


Aztecs made Guacamole by at least the 16th century.[2] 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 sometimes /ˌwækəˈml/. The name of the Guatemalan version has the final "e" omitted (Spanish: [wakaˈmol]). A Spanish-English pronunciation guide from 1900 lists guacamole as a "salad of alligator pear."[6] Early recipes from the California Avocado Advisory Board (Calavo), published in the 1940s, were accompanied with a pronunciation suggestion: "Say Huakamole". Later marketing tried to create a "luau" or Pacific Island image of the avocado in the 1960s, and a Spanish or Mediterranean image in the 1970s. Guacamole has pushed avocado sales in the USA to 30 million pounds on two days a year: Super Bowl Sunday and Cinco de Mayo.[7]

Similar foods[edit]


Thinner and more acidic,[8] or thick and chunky,[9] Guasacaca is a Venezuelan avocado-based sauce; it is made with vinegar,[10] 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.

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]

Guatemalan Guacamol[edit]

Guatemala has its own version, called Guacamol (Spanish: [ɣwakaˈmol]). It is made with avocado, lemon or lime juice, salt, cilantro and sometimes oregano.

Commercial products[edit]

Prepared and fresh guacamoles are available in stores, often available refrigerated. The non-fresh guacamole that is most like fresh is preserved by freezing or sometimes high pressure packaging.[11] Other non-fresh preparations need higher levels of fillers and artificial preservatives to be shelf stable.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Oxford Dictionary". 
  2. ^ a b c 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. ^ Gordon, J. (2012). Gainesville Guacamole, History
  6. ^ Edward Gray, A New Pronouncing Dictionary of the Spanish and English Languages, Part 1 (D. Appleton, 1900) 349.
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ "Caracas Calling". New York Press (Manhattan Media). July 13, 2004. Retrieved March 4, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Guasacaca — Venezuelan-style Guacamole". July 2, 2009. Retrieved October 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ Serpa, Diego (1968). "Avocado Culture in Venezuela" (PDF). California Avocado Society 1968 Yearbook 52: 153–168. ISSN 0096-5960. Retrieved March 4, 2010. 
  11. ^ Steve Connor (February 5, 2000). "Eureka! Scientists discover how to keep guacamole green". The Independent. [dead link]