National Spicy Guacamole Day is observed annually on November 14. Call your friends, get the chips ready and celebrate with a bowl of spicy guacamole dip.
- Originating with the Aztecs in Mexico, guacamole is an avocado-based sauce which has become popular in American cuisine as a dip, condiment and salad ingredient.
- Guacamole is made by using a mortar and pestle to mash ripe avocados and then mixing in sea salt. Sometimes tomatoes, onion, garlic, lemon juice, chili, yogurt or other seasonings are added. Jalapenos, chilis, cumin or red pepper can be added to the recipe to make the guacamole spicy.
- Guacamole has become Super Bowl Sunday and Cinco de Mayo celebrations staples and has pushed avocado sales to 30 million pounds on those two days each year.
- A simple Avocado carries a healthy punch of unsaturated fat (the good one), as well as substantial amounts of Vitamins C and E. Good things come in small packages, though. There are nearly 400 calories in 1 cup of guacamole.
- Avocados are native to Central and South America.
- They have been cultivated for over 10,000 years.
- Another name for the avocado is the “alligator pear.”
- When the Spaniards arrived in the New World, they discovered an Aztec sauce called ahuaca-molli; molli was the Nahautl word for “something mashed or pureed,” while ahuactl referred to testicles, or the stone fruit that reminded them of testicles.
- The Aztec word for avocado was ahuacatl, which means “testicle tree”.
- Spanish explorers could not pronounce ahuacatl, so they called the avocado, “aguacate.” This is the origin of the word guacamole.
- There are more than 400 varieties of avocado grown around the world, but the Hass, grown mostly in Mexico and California, is the most popular. A postal worker named Rudolph Hass purchased the seedling from a farmer in 1926 and filed a patent in 1935. The original tree stood, and bore fruit, for nearly 70 years in La Habra Heights, California.
- The popularity of guacamole spread into the United States in the 1800s. Avocado trees were first planted in Florida in 1833 by Dr. Henry Perrine. The trees blossomed in southern Florida, and there are now more than 50 varieties cultivated in the sunshine state. The majority of avocados grown in Florida today are in Miami-Dade County.
- Avocados made their debut in California in 1871. Judge R.B. Ord was credited with planting the first trees in Santa Barbara. Other planters followed suit by importing trees from Mexico and central America.
- Beginning in 1914, Hass avocados were not allowed to be imported to the United States from Mexico. After a two-year debate, the USDA lifted the ban in 1997—although approved farms were only allowed to export their crops to 19 U.S. states and were still forbidden from selling in California. In 2002, the U.S. Federal Hass Avocado Promotion, Research, and Information Order was established, and today Mexican avocados are allowed in all 50 states.