Saturday, February 4, 2017

A guac on the wild side

The Super Bowl must be coming. I can tell because avocados are on sale everywhere. (Yeah, I get my news about current events from the grocery store circulars. It seems like the safest place to look lately.)

That means today we're looking at variations of that party favorite, guacamole! The West Coast Cook Book (Helen Evans Brown, 1952) suggests a pretty straightforward version with a lot of potential add-ins:

The bare avocado, salt, chili powder, onion, and lemon juice formula has plenty of room for tomatoes, green chilis, ripe olives, or crisp bacon. It also manages to give readers who may not be familiar with the dish a guide to pronunciation while still huffily upbraiding those who would spell it "waca molay." (Full disclosure: I would have a field day with a book that spelled it that way too!)

Guacamole wasn't just for the posh west coast, though. Even Alaska had a version (Alaska's Cooking, Anchorage Woman's Club, fifth printing, 1965):

This seems more like the weird cousin of egg salad since it has almost as much riced hard boiled egg as avocado. It's also presented as more of a salad than a dip, served on lettuce and garnished with tomato and bacon. (The writers disagree with Brown on the phonetic spelling as well, preferring "wa-ca-molly.")

For the yuck factor, I'll turn to the Morningstar Farms Cholesterol Free Foods cookbook (1978). Since it's from a fake meat company, you know it has to be loaded up with fake meat:

Okay, they don't technically call it guacamole, but you know the Avocado-Luncheon Slices Dip is really a form of guacamole. It's made with nearly the same ingredients as the West Coast Cook Book's, plus yogurt and-- get ready-- chopped up Morningstar Farms Luncheon Slices. They were ham-like soy slices so delicious that they were ultimately discontinued:

I'm not sure guac full of fake ham is anybody's favorite, and I like veggie-based "meat"!

If you're still hungry for more old guacamole recipes, I had one that was advertised as a Christmas gift for dieters and another that served as distraction from the openly racist caricatures in a South Carolina regional cookbook. Enjoy!

I'm going to spend the Super Bowl rooting for myself to get the grading finished, even though my cheering always distracts me. I hope your party is more fun than mine!