Posted on November 29th, 2008 by mountain girl  |  2 Comments »


l’ve been eating avocados almost every day for a few weeks now. It’s just one of those little ruts I get into. I’ll get out of it soon….when I run out of avocados. I usually chunk them up for a great salad topper, along with tomatoes, garlic, granny smith apples, and other tasty additions. I also put them in my Vita-Mix along with veggie broth, celery, carrots, garlic, cayenne, coconut oil, slippery elm, and spinach or beet greens for a great warm raw soup. Of course, I also make avocados into guacamole and put it in wraps, dip veggie sticks into it, spread it on sprouted bread topped with a thick slice of fresh tomato, etc, etc.

I didn’t always have such a close relationship with avos. In fact, growing up as a kid in North Carolina and upstate New York, I’d never heard of them. My first introduction came when I was a late teen. My brother came home from visiting friends in Indiana with tales of a “horrible green stuff called ‘guacamole'” that made him want to throw up. We all shivered at the thought. It wasn’t until several years later that this strange green stuff entered my life again…this time in its mother form. My sister returned from a trip to NY City with a gift for Papa….an avocado.  The next time I was home for a visit, he procured it for me from the fridge. Everyone gathered around to gawk at the novel pear-shaped thing. By now it was wilted and blackened – and very soft. One of us got up the guts to carefully cut it open. We stared in amazement at the giant brown “seed” that took up such a large part of this strange veggie/fruit. We tasted it but were unimpressed (probably because it was terribly overripe).

I don’t know when I made the connection between the avocado and my brother’s scary guacamole story, but when I was working as a resident advisor to minority students, I got to know avocados a little better. We all lived together and shared our food. Several of the girls had Latin American backgrounds, and avos were a staple of their diet. So I began to try different recipes – mostly combining them with (to their horror) sweet fruits, such as the avocado-banana salad with raisin-apple juice dressing (another rut that lasted several months) as well as mangoes, peaches, grapes, etc.

Then I went to South Africa on a missions trip. Behind the church we worked with was a tree….an avocado tree. But these weren’t your average Hass variety. They weren’t even like those big Florida avocados. These were monster avocados, with a stone the size of a goose egg. One of them was enough to feed our whole team! The locals taught us, again, to pair avos with fruit. So we ate them with the wildest kinds of fruits, which I’d never seen before nor have I seen since. Delish…though the fruits took a little getting used to.

Then I moved to Kansas City, where everyone loves guacamole. I learned to make a killer guac with fresh lemon or lime juice, chunks of garlic, and sea salt. In KC, you can find guacamole almost anywhere: at tons of restaurants, diners, and delis, and of course, premade in every grocery store.  

And then came New Mexico, and it was all over. To a New Mexican, guacamole is the ketchup and mustard of la cucina. If you didn’t know what guacamole was, that would be like saying you didn’t know what butter was.

To top it off, I married a rugged New Mexican chef. He tought me the correct way to say guacamole: “wok-a-mol-eh” (instead of my New York “gwak-a-moley”) and he tried to teach me the fine art of extracting the fruit from an avocado. Like how to separate the halves by twisting them in opposite directions, how to knock the stone on the counter to loosen it, and how to whack the stone with a knife and voila! draw it out with an expert flick of the wrist. I still can’t get the knife to stick, but I’m getting better….

So that’s the story of my avocado journey. It’s strange to me now that this fruit- such a common item in many parts of the country -was so unknown to me and my family and the area where we lived. Just the other day, my mother asked me if Zia likes “avocados or whatever it is that you make with them.”

Yup, she does, Mama. I butter her bread with it.

2 Responses to “wok-a-mol-eh”

  1. Your Lion says on :

    MMMM and you forgot to mention how when people teach you how to make those New Mexican foods (me and guac, my mom and enchilathas) you come out and make them taste better!!

    Droolage abounds… in more way than one of course!!! hehe

  2. S. R. says on :

    My first intro to avacodo was 2 years ago… (sad but true)
    sliced avocado, sliced tomato, melted asiago cheese on 12 grain open sandwich, slightly toasted. Even good with brown spicy mustard.