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Fake guacamole SO GOOD the taco places in Mexico City and LA got busted for using it! (with recipe)

 
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I don't know if y'all have noticed, but avocado prices are through the damn roof right now.  Bad weather in California depressed the US crop, but that was only ever 15% of total USA consumption.  It's said the trade issues with Mexico may have spiked prices for awhile, but apparently now the main problem is just that it's the seasonal low point for Mexican production, so they can't easily fill the California avocado gap.

My sister is building a greenhouse for tropical trees, just so she can grow avocados and mandarin oranges.  I'm...not.  But I like my guacamole, and I can't/won't pay the current avocado prices.

So you can imagine my intense interest when I stumbled over this article in a Los Angeles online foodie publication: Fake Guacamole is Here.  The Secret That Taquerias Don't Want You To Know About, And How To Spot it.  It turns out that the avocados are replaced with Mexican squash (perhaps not too dissimilar from the tatume squash I already know I can grow?) and vegetable oil.  You could consider the faux guac a sort of Mexican baba ganoush I guess. But the LA foodies who looked into it concluded that it really is good enough to explain how taquerias can get away with passing it off like it was the real thing.  To me, this makes it permaculture-relevant.  The first thing I try to do when I find myself eating crops that are shipped thousands of miles to my table is figure out whether I could grow it.  The second thing I do, when the answer turns out to be "no" because the crop is relentlessly tropical, is to figure out if there's some substitute that I could grow that would be just as satisfying.  Making a passable guacamole with squash and tomatillos and vegetable oil?  This is relevant to my interests!  

OK, let's dip into this fascinating article:

If you have noticed the guacamole at a taco spot looking and tasting a little more watery than your standard runny, but still rich taqueria guacamole, it’s because it probably never had any avocado in it, to begin with.

There is a fake guacamole that has very quietly sauced our tacos for who knows how long now. It is a confusingly neon-green, avocado-less crime against taco humanity that no taquero will ever proudly admit to committing.

A false guacamole made from…blended calabacitas (Mexican squash), without a single buttery slice of ripe avocado in sight.



Yes!  This is promising; my tatume squashes are also known as calabacitas.  But so is every other small summery squash, I think; we've still got some ambiguity about what kind of squash to use for this.   Back to the article:

Chilango, the magazine that covers all things Mexico City, was the first whistleblower that exposed the breach of avocado security last week. In the article, they reveal that a Twitter user named @Karligrafia was the first to tweet about the scam and become viral for it. But even before this tweet, a popular Youtuber named Alejandra de Nava known for recreating popular Mexican dishes for home cooks revealed the classified recipe to the world. To date, the video has almost 2 million views in less than a month.



Stop the presses!  I wanna watch that video now:



Well, damn, small flaw.  I don't speak Spanish.  But we still can learn two useful things from Alejanda's video cooking demonstration.

First of all, this whole hoopla is about the runny blended sauce-type guacamole that I knew existed from having seen it on television, but which I have never experienced.  To me, the concept of guacamole references the stiff non-runny paste type that is, basically, just mashed avocados with flavor amendments.  I don't think I've ever encountered a guacamole with tomatillos in it.  I am not dismayed, however; a yummy green sauce is a yummy green sauce.  And I can definitely grow tomatillos!

Second and most useful, one shot in the Youtube video establishes the kind of squash we need for this.  It's not Tatume (although that might work) but it's the "third zucchini" (in my sloppy mental taxonomy) after green ones and yellow crookneck -- the green speckled Mexican zucchini.  I haven't tried growing it, but in a pinch they sell it at my local discount market for a fuck of a lot less than they sell avocados for:



OK, now let's return to the LA Taco article again for more details and impressions from people who know what that kind of guacamole is supposed to taste like:

The fake guacamole recipe is nearly identical to your standard taqueria guacamole. Tomatillos, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño are still the core ingredients, instead, the imposter substitutes the green gold for the tender summer variety of Mexican squash usually sauteed in guisado form. The fake guacamole gets its creaminess thanks to the oil used to blister the jalapeño that emulsifies the rest of the ingredients.

As a service to the taco community, I took it upon myself to test this poser guacamole recipe out to see if it really was as eerily real as everyone is making it out to be: My verdict? It is.

When blended with the rest of the traditional taqueria guacamole ingredients, the slightly boiled Mexican squash emulsifies into a stunningly bright green guacamole-like salsa. However, the scariest part is that it tastes almost exactly like your standard taqueria guacamole: bright, spicy, rich, and very satisfying. For someone who has eaten over a thousand tacos this last year alone with all kinds of taqueria guacamoles for Las Crónicas research, it almost fooled me.

It took a side-by-side taste test with a traditional taqueria guacamole that I whipped up right after with plenty of avocado and the same ingredients to taste the difference.

The main difference between the poser salsa and the real thing? There is the faintest, subtly sweet flavor from the squash one that is not present in the guacamole with aguacate. But even for an experienced taco palate, when spooned over a nicely toasted tortilla, juicy meat or oozy cheese, onion, cilantro, and lime, it would be extremely hard to notice.



And now for the recipe:

1 Mexican squash, ends trimmed and quartered
6 medium tomatillos, husks removed
1 jalapeño, stem removed and sliced lengthwise
1/4 cup oil (grapeseed, vegetable, or any neutral-flavored oil)
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium saucepan over high heat, add enough water cover the squash and tomatillos, about 2 cups. Bring water to a boil, add squash and tomatillos and cover with a lid. Cook until the tomatillos changed to a dark green color and the squash is just cooked through, about five minutes. Remove vegetables from the water using a slotted spoon and discard the water.

In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the jalapeño and cook until it is golden and charred in some spots. Remove chiles from the pan and reserve oil.

In a blender, add squash, tomatillos, jalapeño, oil, garlic cloves, cilantro, and salt. Puree until a creamy and smooth consistency. Taste and adjust salt if needed.

Pour into a bowl and allow to cool. Serve as the real thing.



I don't have the right squash (nor any tomatillos) ready in my garden just now, although there's still time to grow both before frost if my young tomatillo plants (just now flowering) do well.  This is definitely going on my list of permaculture local-appropriate-substitutions food hacks, and I look forward to being able to test it.  Hopefully some other Permies will try it too!  If you do, please post your impressions to this thread.

I'll close out with the cooking video the LA Taco people made, trying and taste-testing the recipe.  Enjoy!







 
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Very interesting.

Avocados are funny trees.  Last year, we got maybe 40 or 50 avocados off our 3 trees.  This year, we're looking at 400-500.  It's a bumper crop.  They tend to bear in a 2 or 3 year cycle, with a heavy year, followed by a light year, followed by zero.  Last year we had a great crop, and then we got a huge heat wave with temps at 108 for 3 days.  We were on vacation and my son didn't turn on the water.  The poor trees just baked and didn't have the water to deal with it.  All the avocados dropped off.

But this year we've got a zillion of them.  So I'm not sure I agree with the article, saying that avocados will be scarce because my experience is just the opposite.  But, there are only about 15 pomegranates this year, where we usually have 80 to 100 on the tree.  Crazy.  I guess it just differs from region to region, farmer to farmer.

Most Mexican restaurants serve green salsa ("salsa verde") made of roasted tomatillos and green chilies, with a little onion and cilantro.  Tangy, a bit of heat, lovely with pork.  But often they'll blend one avocado into the entire big batch and call it "guacomolito".  It's 90% tomatillo, but it gives it some creaminess and the right color.  It's a cheater's guacamole-like salsa.  If you blend in a big scoop of sour cream, you get a creamy guacomolito, which is lovelier still.

Right now, it's red salsa season from the garden, with tomatoes coming out of our ears, lots of fresh chilies, white onion, fresh garlic, a lime or 3  . . . toss them on the grill and roast them a bit, and then cut the tomatoes in half and drain out the excess juice.  Chop the onions into smaller chunks and give them one quick pulse in the food processor.  Next, the roasted chilies go into the food pro with the onions and get another quick pulse.  Those get dumped into a bowl.  The tomatoes, the lime juice, a big pinch of salt -- into the food pro for a 3 second twirl.  Chopped cilantro.  Stir together and let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes at least to chill and marry.  Take it out, taste it, add more salt . . . because that's what you do.  If it's not hot enough, chop another serrano.  

Mmmm . . . and if there is any sweet corn in the garden, grill and ear or two of that, cut it off the cob, and toss that into the bowl.

And if there are any black beans that were cooked but not eaten, just hanging out in the back of the fridge . . .into the pool with the rest of the kids.

Now I'm getting hungry.  Gotta go.  
 
Dan Boone
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Marco Banks wrote:But this year we've got a zillion of them.  So I'm not sure I agree with the article, saying that avocados will be scarce because my experience is just the opposite.  But, there are only about 15 pomegranates this year, where we usually have 80 to 100 on the tree.  Crazy.  I guess it just differs from region to region, farmer to farmer.



I guess so!  My understanding, mostly from this article, is that the 2019 California commercial avocado crop is mostly done by now, so the shortage on that side for this year is apparently baked in already.  Mexico is having a good year, but the article says we're still a few weeks out from seeing those avocados.  And (again from the article) overall global demand continues to skyrocket, so the ag-banker guy USA today interviewed is speculating that prices may not come back down to "low" any time soon.
 
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Marco Banks wrote:Most Mexican restaurants serve green salsa ("salsa verde") made of roasted tomatillos and green chilies, with a little onion and cilantro.  Tangy, a bit of heat, lovely with pork.



I've had that in a local Mexican restaurant that's not here anymore.  Very tasty!  I guess that explains why the woman in the LA Taco video kept saying the fake guac tasted "like green salsa" -- because it's really a blended version of that, with garlic instead of onion.  
 
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I had salsa verde with sour cream in my lunch! It IS yummy, one of my favorite combinations. I had my guac separate though.
I'm so gonna try that recipe. I'll do it with zucchini, because I'm weird about recipes, and zucchini is easy to find here. I'd think any pale squash would work.  The Mexican places have that type around for other recipes, I have zucchini around.
Excellent post Dan!! I'm intrigued....
:D
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:I'm so gonna try that recipe. I'll do it with zucchini, because I'm weird about recipes, and zucchini is easy to find here. I'd think any pale squash would work.  The Mexican places have that type around for other recipes, I have zucchini around.



I think you're right.  However if you're trying to fool LA foodies, you might need something with the right amount of color in the skin?  I imagine this would look pretty weird if you made it with yellow crookneck squashes, but I don't imagine the taste/texture would be a lot different.
 
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Dan Boone wrote:
I guess so!  My understanding, mostly from this article, is that the 2019 California commercial avocado crop is mostly done by now, so the shortage on that side for this year is apparently baked in already.  Mexico is having a good year, but the article says we're still a few weeks out from seeing those avocados.  And (again from the article) overall global demand continues to skyrocket, so the ag-banker guy USA today interviewed is speculating that prices may not come back down to "low" any time soon.



Avocados take almost 10 months to mature, so yes, what's on the tree now is what we'll have this winter.  The largest avocados on my tree are the size of a chicken egg, but they'll continue to get bigger, particularly in the hot months of August and September.  By late September, the largest ones will be ready to pick.

The trees bloom in late Feb. or early March, and set fruit by the end of March or so.  Then they slowly grow all summer and through the fall.  The trees self-thin, with hundreds of little avocados falling away throughout the summer.  By this time, you pretty much know what you're going to have.  So yes, as you stated, by now the cake is in the oven and we're just waiting for the fruit to put on weight.

Unlike most other fruits, avocados don't ripen on the tree.  The tree supplies an enzyme that keeps the fruit from ripening.  When they are large enough, you pick them, and starved of that enzyme, they start to ripen.  For my Haas, they'll be ripe in 2 weeks, with a window of about 3 weeks before they get too soft.  Fuerte ripen a bit quicker—10 to 12 days.  And Fuerte don't sit on the counter very long before they'll get too ripe.  Maybe 4 or 5 days.  That's why they don't make a very good commercial variety, but they are amazing (large, high oil content, great flavor).  So its nice to have a big crop of avocados on the tree.  We start picking them in October and then continue to enjoy them until late Spring, sometimes as late as May or even June.  It's a great example of Mollison's "capture and store energy" principle.  As long as the squirrels don't get them, it's a pantry of calories just hanging out there on the tree, waiting to be picked.  But . . . you've got to remember to pick a couple every 3 or 4 days, just to be sure that if you want guacamole in 2 weeks, they'll be ripe avocados for it.  

We always pick about 2 dozen or so about 2 weeks before Thanksgiving, and again 2 weeks before Christmas.  If we don't show up with a big bowl of guac, there's grumbling.

If you don't pick them, they'll eventually drop off the tree.  That doesn't happen too often.  Once people know you've got a mature bearing avocado tree, they tend to "just happened to be in the neighborhood and thought we'd drop by".
 
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Also according to this article in Mexico Daily News

"Poor harvests, high demand and cartel control in parts of Michoacán, Mexico’s avocado heartland, have caused prices for the fruit to soar to as high as 100 pesos (US $5.25) per kilo in recent weeks"

link to full article.

https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/fake-guacamole-appears-as-avocado-prices-spiral/

TTFN
 
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Dan Boone wrote:

Pearl Sutton wrote:I'm so gonna try that recipe. I'll do it with zucchini, because I'm weird about recipes, and zucchini is easy to find here. I'd think any pale squash would work.  The Mexican places have that type around for other recipes, I have zucchini around.



I think you're right.  However if you're trying to fool LA foodies, you might need something with the right amount of color in the skin?  I imagine this would look pretty weird if you made it with yellow crookneck squashes, but I don't imagine the taste/texture would be a lot different.



I cook for myself, for flavor, not for LA foodies. I like the idea of having guac type sauces available when I don't have avocados. I suspect if the places trying to fake it had only yellow squash, they'd add a bit of dye. if they are putting forth enough effort to boil squash etc, I don't think dye would be a dealbreaker for them.
 
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The avo shortage has gotten bad enough down under that organised criminals now target avocado orchards, and lots of them now have security fences, cameras, and rent-a-cops as a result. The real shame is that the thieves don't know how to tell immature from ripe fruit, and in stripping the trees they take lots of bycatch that will never ripen.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/392680/high-avocado-prices-cause-spike-in-thefts

I'm going to go and have a talk with our trees about their productivity.
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:
I cook for myself, for flavor, not for LA foodies. I like the idea of having guac type sauces available when I don't have avocados. I suspect if the places trying to fake it had only yellow squash, they'd add a bit of dye. if they are putting forth enough effort to boil squash etc, I don't think dye would be a dealbreaker for them.



I expect you're right!   Meanwhile, I guess it shows that I got ridiculously excited by the notion of a guac-ish sauce that I can make with stuff I can grow here.  I'm very much looking forward to trying this recipe.  And since I'm not trying to fool anybody, I don't care if it's perfect.   I'll be happy if it's tasty and satisfying.
 
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Dan Boone wrote:I
Second and most useful, one shot in the Youtube video establishes the kind of squash we need for this.  It's not Tatume (although that might work) but it's the "third zucchini" (in my sloppy mental taxonomy) after green ones and yellow crookneck -- the green speckled Mexican zucchini.  I haven't tried growing it, but in a pinch they sell it at my local discount market for a fuck of a lot less than they sell avocados for:





I have grown one that looked just like that from France called Grisette de Provence so unless you get too warm for it I don't think you will have any issues growing one to match that picture.


Edited as my memory is apparently terrible
 
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The name I know for that squash is Mexican Grey Squash. It handles heat well, not sure how much moisture it requires or handles, probably about like other summer squash. It's common and cheap in stores in the southwest, often lower priced than zucchini.
 
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Skandi Rogers wrote:
I have grown one that looked just like that from France called Grisette de Provence so unless you get too warm for it I don't think you will have any issues growing one to match that picture.



Actually I might, but I don't want to borrow trouble.  The reason I gave up on standard green zukes and yellow crookneck summer squashes is that between powdery mildew, vine borers, and squash bugs, I didn't have much success with them.  I went on a quest for resistant varieties and came up with the tatume squashes, which do much better (and also fill out into a long-storing winter squash if not harvested and eaten when tiny).  

But these I have never tried.  So I don't know what pest resistances they may have.  Now I have a reason to find out!
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:The name I know for that squash is Mexican Grey Squash. It handles heat well, not sure how much moisture it requires or handles, probably about like other summer squash. It's common and cheap in stores in the southwest, often lower priced than zucchini.



Yup!  Where I am in Central Oklahoma, it's priced the same as zucchini in full-service old-people supermarkets, but if you shop in discount markets (which also tend to stock stuff like nopales and bulk tortillas) the "Mexican Grey Squash" (though I've never seen it named) is about twenty cents a pound cheaper than the others.  And honestly, once I cut one open, I can't distinguish it from a classic dark green zucchini.  
 
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Dan Boone wrote:The reason I gave up on standard green zukes and yellow crookneck summer squashes is that between powdery mildew, vine borers, and squash bugs, I didn't have much success with them.  I went on a quest for resistant varieties and came up with the tatume squashes, which do much better (and also fill out into a long-storing winter squash if not harvested and eaten when tiny).  



I struggle with powdery mildew as well, so my solution is to just plant a new hill of zuchini every 2 to 3 weeks, all summer long, starting in March and continuing till Sept.  That way there is always something growing, but as soon as the mildew gets too bad, they get pulled out and tossed in the compost.  I try to plant them a distance away from anything else that gets mildewy.  I'm not sure if I'm just assuring that there will be mildew contagions EVERYWHERE, or it's making a difference.  

One healthy zuke will feed the neighborhood, so all I need is one of them to thrive and we'll have our fill.  As they used to say when I was a kid, lock the doors, its zuchini season.
 
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Marco Banks wrote:
I struggle with powdery mildew as well, so my solution is to just plant a new hill of zuchini every 2 to 3 weeks, all summer long, starting in March and continuing till Sept.  That way there is always something growing, but as soon as the mildew gets too bad, they get pulled out and tossed in the compost.



I have a thread on this somewhere.  Tried that, didn't work for me, because one of mildew, the squash bugs, or the borers would routinely get every plant before it came into production.  As fast as they grow, the antagonists seem to be faster in my garden.  That's why I started my quest for resistant varieties.  It's OK though; I'm really happy with the tatume squash, and don't miss the standard zucchini.

Another problem with succession planting here is that once we get into the scorching dry middle of summer, it's really hard to get new plants started.  Moisture control around the seeds is a challenge, just cooking the tender seedlings is an issue, and once things get dry, pest pressure on seedlings (think grasshoppers!) goes way up.  There are skilled-gardener solutions to all those problems, but it's a lot more involved than just poking some new seeds in the ground every few weeks.  
 
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So I made the stuff.

A couple of days ago was shopping day, and along the way I stopped to visit some friends who gave me some fat jalapenos from their garden that were just starting to turn red with sun ripeness.  Then Aldi had the correct squash, which they just call "Grey Squash."  And they also had some fat tomatillos, which is fortunate because mine didn't get planted until June and are only just now starting to flower.  

Making the stuff was also an adventure because I've never fried jalepenos in oil in a kitchen that doesn't have an exterior-vented stove vent hood before.  *cough* *cough*  No worries, I don't really need this respiratory system anyway.  

It came out of the blender still pretty warm and it's way past my bedtime so my impressions are preliminary.  Taste and odor and texture are all very positive.  It's a rich green sauce with an extremely good flavor that I want to eat.  Next time I want to double or triple the garlic.  Warm/hot from the blender, it's not viscous enough to persuasively pretend to be guacamole; like the lady from LA Taco says, it's pretty obviously a salsa verde.  But it's a salsa verde that can serve many of the functions of guacamole when you don't have guacamole!

I'm very curious what it will be like tomorrow, after a night in the fridge, after the oil molecules (I used peanut oil, for the record) harden up and the emulsions rigidify and the flavors all have time to blend together and get friendly.  I shall report further!
 
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Yay Dan for trying it! If it doesn't set up enough for your taste, I add chia seeds as a thickener to a lot of things, might be worth considering.
I look forward to your report!

 
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OK, I am calling this an unqualified win.

Out of the fridge this morning it had a nice stiff texture, enough to stand on a cracker held vertically and maintain the hole left by spooning some out of the bowl.  Of course it's more watery than real guac but not by a lot -- certainly not if you usually put salsa-type vegetables in your guac, as I often do.  

Mouth feel, alone or on a cracker or chip, is still not going to fool anyone.  Between the tongue and the roof of the mouth it's too thin, and flees too easily.  

Flavor is delicious and addictive. The jalapeno mellowed and the garlic richened and came through, like it usually does.  The stuff now has that "standing around the bowl of dip" quality where you reach for another chip because you want another flavor hit from the "guac" even though you know it's not guac.     That to me is the definitive characteristic that makes this a win -- the texture is "good enough" and the flavor is excellent and the nutritional profile is (by my standards) possibly even better than guacamole in a more frugal dish.  (All other things being equal, I prefer whole food ingredients to refined vegetable oils, but given the fats profile of an avocado it would be silly to preference an avocado over the vegetable oil in this dish by much -- and, though I have not run the numbers, I think there's rather less calories from vegetable oil in this sauce than there would be in an equal volume of true guacamole, which matters to me because anywhere I can reduce the calorie density of my food is good for me.)  

Another comparison where this product shines would be the comparison to "real" prepared packaged guacamole sold in plastic tubs in the refrigerated section of stores.  That stuff is at least equally thin, watered down with water and fillers (various vegetable proteins) and really cheap oils (usually soy) and sharp-tasting preservatives (usually various acids like citric acid).  Truly nasty.  I know people who won't even taste guacamole because they think it's all like that slimy nasty crap.  This sauce is 1000 times better.

I had four whole wheat tortillas in my fridge so I decided to make quick microwaved veggie burritos for my breakfast.  Chopped up  sweet Vidalia onion and big handful of Juliette cherry tomatoes.  Filled the burritos with those, plus a dollop of the new green stuff in each burrito.  Three minutes of zap, just enough to warm and soften the raw veg.  

And that's when I suddenly understood how they were getting away with selling this stuff out of taco trucks.  It mixes with the food, the textures of the food destroy your ability to be critical of the specific texture of the goop, and the flavor carries it.  Now it looks right, it smells right, it tastes right, and it serves the function of oozing around every bite and blending your meal ingredients together while you chew them.  It's 100% (OK, 95%) satisfactory for that purpose.  If you weren't thinking specifically and critically about the sensations in your mouth, I don't see how you would ever think anything was "off" with this stuff.  And even then, if the sign on the truck said "Beef and Cheese taco" and you saw the guy spoon green stuff on, and then you ate it and found it yummy, is it his fault you assumed the green stuff was guacamole instead of a functionally-similar salsa verde?

Verdict:  This recipe is a keeper.  I made a double batch that yielded 40 ounces.  I expect it to go quickly.   Victory for temperate-climate gardeners!

P.S.  I always ripen mine, but somebody with a surplus of green tomatoes ought to see how it works with green tomatoes substituting for the tomatillos...

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Faux guacamole on spoon
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Hole in the faux guacamole
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Faux guacamole on a cracker
 
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Thanks for this, Dan.....looks like a tasty way to get around the avocado issue.  Although I'm not fond of coconut flavor in such mixings, do you or anyone have thoughts/experience with using one of the low-flavor coconut oils in this recipe which may give it even more 'body' when cooled?  My search revealed avocados to be 8g of fat per 50g of avocado, so that's nearly 20% by weight, although the fat composition will likely be different.  Still......
 
Dan Boone
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I'll leave the coconut oil experiments for somebody else; part of the appeal of this recipe to me is frugality, and coconut oils I've seen are somewhat spendy, like the avocados they would be replacing.  I do want to give some more thought to the best veg oil to use, though; the only reason I went with peanut oil is that it's the default frying oil in my house.  I almost never fry things or buy oil other than a quart of olive oil about every six months, so that's a decision made by other people in this case.

My thoughts are going in another direction.  I wonder if a bit more formal attention paid to emulsification wouldn't help this recipe.  The classic half-teaspoon of Coleman's yellow mustard powder in the homemade mayonnaise recipe that you can't taste is the example I'm thinking of.  
 
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I use coconut oil a lot, and while it would give it more body when it's cooled, it melts to liquid at about room temp in the summer, so you'd have LESS body once it melts. I'd vote for thickening it, with chia or other gluey seeds, or starch, gelatin, tapioca, or something. Chia would be my choice, as it would go well with the flavors in it.
Looking at the recipe, looking at the oils, butter might be interesting. I would default to olive, coconut, or butter, as that's what I keep in the house. Any of them would work well. I haven't used other oils for years, the less expensive ones are too hard on my health, the higher priced ones are hard on my budget. Basically all they are doing with the oil is smoothing it and adding a rich flavor. If you don't care how exactly "Like real guac!" it tastes, you could cut that oil way way down. Comes down to are you trying to fool someone (like the taco places are) or just trying to end up with a very tasty sauce? I go for tasty, and I'd cut that oil down hard.
 
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I made some last week, with a little bit of substitution.  I only had a yellow zuc, and used dried ground coriander rather than fresh cilantro--I was using my own garden ingredients and don't have any.  Instead of oil I used butter.  Anyway, it turned out good, though too sweet--and obviously the wrong colour--to be mistaken for the real stuff.  The yellow zuc is sweeter than the green or grey ones, and I ended up adding some fresh lemon juice to balance it out.  We did like it a lot, and would definitely have it again.  I'll have to try growing a grey variety next summer, as I've never seen them in the shops.
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Yellow guacamole
 
Skandi Rogers
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Avocados are around $3 each here so this sounds worth trying, tomatillos just don't exist so I'll give the green tomato version a go this evening. I will report back later.

Dan Boone wrote:


P.S.  I always ripen mine, but somebody with a surplus of green tomatoes ought to see how it works with green tomatoes substituting for the tomatillos...

 
G Freden
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Hi Skandi, I got my tomatillo seeds from The Real Seed Catalogue: www.realseeds.co.uk, and they ship to Europe, though if it were me, I would order as soon as possible--before October.

We enjoyed ours in curries, stews, chili, etc.  I wanted to make green salsa with them, salsa verde, but we didn't grow enough;  maybe next year!
 
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Is this the zucchini everyone is talking about?
https://www.rareseeds.com/zucchini-gray-/

It looks *almost* like the picture in the first post, but with some very minor differences in appearance (gloss, slightly less polygonal shape) that makes me unsure. I'd love to try this recipe next year, so I want to be sure I get the right seeds.

Can I use another variety of zucchini? Specifically, Dark Star Zucchini? I'm right at the tail end of harvesting that.
 
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I bet Joseph Lofthouse's non-sweet C. moshata winter squash would be pretty great for this instead of zucchini.  
 
Skandi Rogers
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Galadriel Freden wrote:Hi Skandi, I got my tomatillo seeds from The Real Seed Catalogue: www.realseeds.co.uk, and they ship to Europe, though if it were me, I would order as soon as possible--before October.

We enjoyed ours in curries, stews, chili, etc.  I wanted to make green salsa with them, salsa verde, but we didn't grow enough;  maybe next year!



I've got until December 15th to receive seeds from outside the EU then the rules change here and nothing can be imported anymore. I don't think I'll be adding them though as greenhouse space is limited, But I will be getting about 5 kg of alderman pea seed from the UK, I can only get them in packs of 50 here and that's no use.

I made the recipe, subbing green tomatoes, (and one half ripe one because I was too lazy to go get another green one) and a standard courgette there's two jalapenos because they are so mild this year. I peeled the courgette but everything else was just sliced.


I found that it was too salty for me, I think I would totally leave out the salt. and it lacked something so I added a bit of lime juice, my green tomatoes were surprisingly sweet more so than the one that's turning.  

I also think it would be better without the oil, I blended all the veg first and it was quite nice and thick, but the oil thinned it down too much for me.

I think it would be an improvement to use artichoke hearts in place of the courgette, they have a similar texture to avocado but grow much further north/south.


EDIT: oops I forgot the important bit. it tastes good and will certainly do as a substitute, it's not going to fool anyone alone but it works on chips and it worked on that steak next to it! And I had every ingredient (bar the lime/salt) growing in the garden.
 
Been there. Done that. Went back for more. But this time, I took this tiny ad with me:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
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