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It’s Not Super Bowl without (this) Amazing ‘Guac’!

by Marina Fortuño 2 months ago in humanity

The most delicious, authentic Mexican recipe for Guacamole, sprinkled with a healthy dose of awareness

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

It’s statistically proven! Guacamole or ’Guac’ (like some people call it), is the queen food of Super Bowl. One of the most eaten snacks, and for me definitely the most delicious. Guacamole is one of the five favorite foods for Game Day, with about 12% of Americans' annual avocado consumption happening during Super Bowl week (Today Magazine, 2021). Every year more than 8 million pounds of guacamole are consumed during day of the Super Bowl in the U.S. (The Post Game, 2018). If you do a Google Search with the terms ‘guacamole’ + ‘Super Bowl’ you will find thousands of recipes with names like “Super Bowl Super Guacamole Bowl” or “Guacamole Footbowls” (which, by the way, look super cute!).

Screen capture of "Guacamole Footbowls" by Well Done (Nicole McLaughlin) at MyRecipes.com

So, because it’s the Super Bowl time of the year, I decided to share the secret recipe for my favorite game day snack (obviously, I’m talking about my amazing, traditional Guacamole!). But before that, I also want to reflect on why I stopped watching the Super Bowl for the past years, and why I am watching it again this 2021. I promise I will get to the recipe shortly, just bear with me for a bit (or if you don't want to wait, you can just skip to the end of the post and start mashing those avocados!)

I’m not American. I’m Mexican. My father was born in the North of Mexico and studied his degree in Mass Media at the University of El Paso, Texas (UTEP). There, he became a huge fan of American Football. His team: The Dallas Cowboys. Why? No idea! (just kidding, sorry Dad and other fans out there!)

Anyway, since his college years, it became a tradition for him to watch pretty much all of the Cowboys’ games, Sunday Night Football, the playoffs and the Super Bowl. And having two daughters (no boys!), of course he took it upon himself to teach us everything about American Football. And it was awesome! My sister became a fan of the New England Patriots, and I just jump between teams depending on how they play throughout the season (I know, such a turncoat, but what can I say I'm loyal to the game not the teams). Since we were little, and until a few years ago, for my sister and me it was an exciting time whenever we could join my dad to enjoy the Super Bowl together!

My dad and I watching soccer, not football (but same principle).

From my dad’s background and from living in Mexico (being the neighbors across the border), we got a lot of influence from the U.S. in our lives: watching American films, traveling there often, learning English in school and buying American products (and of course watching The Super Bowl!), among other things. However, to be honest, I also grew up in a context where there was a love-hate relationship (or more like a love-hurt relationship) with the U.S. And I believe that there’s a valid reason that people in Mexico still feel that animosity sometimes. Even more now, after the inflammatory political discourse (sponsored by ‘You Know Who, and no, it’s not Voldemort).

In Mexico, we admire all the great things, ideas, content, people, innovation, (several) examples of democracy and so many other things from the U.S. On the other hand, it’s hard to ignore that, for decades (if not centuries), Mexican people (or people with Mexican roots) have been stereotyped by political discourse in the U.S., and have become a constant target of discrimination and racism. Even before Trump came along. I know this is not true for all Americans, but especially in the last five years or so, those who do discriminate have become even more outspoken and aggressive. And that is difficult to ignore.

In fact, because of Trump’s hate discourse and the widespread hostility that it promoted towards Mexicans (and other Latin Americans) during his campaign and presidency, I actually stopped watching football for a while. It just didn’t feel right for me, and somehow it felt like I was making a stand. Unfortunately, I also felt such a disconnect with the U.S. at the time that I promised myself that I would not travel there until Trump and his influence were gone. Now, it seems like better times are coming. But, we will see what happens.

With that said (or written), I don’t want to get too deep into a dense, political mood. What I do want is to take this opportunity to focus on the positive and spread a little awareness about some of the very nice things that Mexico brings to the U.S. In this particular case: avocados.

A few years ago, I was working at an amazing think tank in Mexico and I learned a few interesting things about avocado exports:

  • Mexico is the biggest exporter of avocados in the world, with about 31% of all worldwide avocado exports coming from Mexico, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
  • Just for Super Bowl L, football fans in the U.S. consumed more than a hundred tons of avocado. This amount has remained constant throughout the past years (CBC Canada, 2018).
  • According to the Ministry of Agriculture in Mexico (Sagarpa) more than a hundred tons of “Hass” avocados are sent yearly from Mexico to the U.S. just for the day of the Super Bowl.
  • The avocado industry in Mexico is trying to innovate, creating biodegradable cutlery made of avocado waste, and also developing patented avocado products for NASA which can be consumed in outer space (IMCO, 2016).

These are only a few cool facts, but the bottom line is: Avocados and guacamole are bringing Mexico and the U.S. together, and that matters. So, if you were or are eating avocado through this game season, just don’t forget that there is a long chain of work, and the effort of a many, hardworking Mexican people making it possible to bring it to your table and to the world (and, of course, your guacamole consumption supports avocado growers and exporters too). All so we can have one of the most delicious and popular foods at the reach of our hands!

Photo by @louishansel (Louis Hansel) from Unsplash

In the end, this year I am actually excited to watch the Super Bowl again! It will probably mean staying up late, due to the time difference with Europe (where I live now), but it’s worth it. Unfortunately, I will not be able to watch it with my dad (who I haven’t seen in more than a year due to Covid). But, I will feel connected to him, watching the game simultaneously, this year with a little more hope in humanity, looking towards the future and both eating our guacamole together in the distance!

Thank you for reading! And, as promised, here is my recipe to delicious and authentic Guacamole. It’s my favorite game day snack (both for soccer and football, and other special occasions). I hope you enjoy!

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Marina’s Authentic Mexican Guacamole

It’s quite common with newer versions of guacamole that people add sour cream or other ingredients in the mix. In my opinion, that’s not necessary. The traditional recipe in Mexico is actually quite simple (but equally tasty!) and it only needs a few ingredients. Most importantly, it has been passed on for generations. So if you want to try it out, just follow these simple steps:

Portions: 3-4 people (as a starter snack)

Prep time: 5 minutes / Making time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Ripe "Hass" avocados (note: please NEVER store avocados in the fridge)
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1/2 of a small white onion (or 1/4 of a big one)
  • Fresh lime juice of 1 or 2 limes to taste (you can substitute with a little lime juice concentrate)
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional: Chopped fresh celery (only a few leaves)
  • Optional: 1 green "Serrano" chilli (you can substitute with jalapeños)
  • Optional: A sprinkle of "queso fresco" (Mexican white cheese)
  • A pinch of curiosity and cultural heritage

Steps:

  • Peel the onion and wash the tomato. Then chop them vey finely and keep them aside.
  • Choose ripe avocados. They shouldn't be too hard and green or too soft and brown-ish. The best way to know is by pressing gently on the avocado skin which should be initially firm. If it sinks lightly after pressing, it's perfect.
  • With a sharp knife cut from the top of the avocado towards the center and down the side, following the circumference, until you reach the point where you started. Gently twist the half of the avocados to opposite directions and slip outward to open.
  • When the avocado is split, remove the seed and clean the insides with a spoon or knife and place it on a medium bowl. Once there, start pressing down on the avocado with a fork until its softer, but still chunky (not completely smooth).
  • Add a bit of lime juice as you mix, then add the celery (optional), then the onion and finally the tomato.
  • If you want to add spice, chop the green pepper very finely and add to the mix. Be careful to wash your hand after touching it and avoid touching your eyes or face.
  • Mix softly and slowly integrating all the ingredients. Add the salt and more lime juice to your taste and keep mixing slowly (try to not let the guacamole go completely smooth with the mixing, you will want some texture!).
  • If you want, you can garnish your guacamole by sprinkling a little "queso fresco" over the top.
  • Add some tortilla chips to scoop it up, and your guacamole is ready!

Not as pretty as stock photos, but this is the final result of some guacamole I made today with some fresh tortillas :)

Guacamole is not only great with tortillas or tortilla chips. It basically goes with any other food that could use a bit of freshness and kick on the side! There are many other amazing ways you can eat it. For example, even though I can’t find many Mexican ingredients in Europe, I have recently created a recipe for incredibly tasty chicken fajitas, with homemade soft corn tortillas (traditional in Mexico) and of course lots of guacamole! (No space for that recipe in here, but they are easy to make and very yummy. Who knows? Maybe I’ll do another post for those :).

My homemade fajitas, in fresh tortillas and with "mucho guacamole"

I hope you enjoy this recipe (maybe you can use it to fill up some of those Guacamole Footbowls). Happy Game Day! Y Provecho!

If you liked this article, please give it a like by clicking on the nice little heart below or share it with your friends. If you really liked it, you can also leave a tip! Thank you for your support, it means a lot to me! :)

humanity
Marina Fortuño
Marina Fortuño
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Marina Fortuño

I'm a work in progress! I love writing, especially short stories and heartfelt pieces to make people happy.

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