A hundred years ago, before reaching the snacks of the Super Bowl served with chips or nachos, guacamole was already legendary in tacos that were prepared in an alley in Mexico City known as the Alcaicería: a complete meal summed up with three tortillas, guacamolechili and carnitas, capable of staving off hunger in one bite.
This sauce has been with us for a long time. Teacher Sebastián Amaro, professor at the Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana, explains in an interview that guacamole was prepared in pre-Hispanic timessimply with mashed avocado and chili.
Later, with the arrival of the Spanish, the dish changed with the incorporation of ingredients brought from Europe: onion, lemon (originally from Asia) and spices, “these flavors are amalgamated”.
His name comes from name comes from Nahuatl ahuacamullifrom ahuacatl (avocado) and bubble (mole or sauce). The Encyclopedic dictionary of Mexican gastronomy defines it as a ripe avocado saucecrushed and mixed with green chili, tomato, onion and cilantro, “it is prepared throughout the country and is native to Tlaxcala, Puebla, Morelos, Guanajuato and Zacatecas.”
It appears as “auacamulli” in the Vocabulary in Spanish and Mexican languageby Alonso de Molina, published in 1571, where it is defined as “auacate delicacy with chilli”.
The avocado has existed for more than 50 thousand years in Central America and part of the current mexican territory; according to him encyclopedic dictionary details, it was consumed by various pre-Hispanic cultures and after the Conquest it undertook its journey around the world, where it achieved great success due to its reputation as an aphrodisiac, in fact, its name derives from the Nahuatl ahuacatl, testiclebecause of its shape.
The chronicler Salvador Novo explains that, although it does not need any seasoning to be delicious, it admits many combinations: from a touch of salt and lemon to intensify its original flavor, a vinaigrette, salad or in consommé and cream.
“Of course guacamole is the perfect work of artthe legitimate use of the three Nahua elements that make it up: avocado, tomato and chili”, Novo describes in Gastronomic history of Mexico City.
It is a versatile preparation, it is a companion, sauce, garnish, snack; at the beginning of the 20th century they were inseparable from barbecue tacos; then, in the 1970s, it was recommended to add a little to hamburgers in Mexico.
How did avocados get to the United States?
Avocado hasn’t always been in America’s bowls, but it blended in so well you’d think it was always there.
The first Mexican varieties of avocado were planted in United States until 1833, Salvador Novo explains that in that year Henry Perrine took them to Miami and in 1871 the first acclimatization experiment in California prospered.
According to the chronicler, in 1911 the horticulturist Carl Schmidt traveled to Mexico to look for a type adaptable to the climate of California and found it in Atlixco “the avocado father of all avocados”, remembered with a plaque dated April 17, 1938 and placed in an old house:
“In this house there is the avocado tree that gave rise to the large plantations What are they source of wealth in the United States. Its owner, Mr. Alejandro Leblanc, provided the avocado cuttings to Mr. Carlos Schmidt in 1911, who transported them to plant them in California with great success. His class was the only one among all the varieties brought to California from various parts of the world, which withstands the elements of winter in those latitudes. For this reason, the California Avocado Association makes its first excursion to pay tribute to the Strong avocado, also called Padre”.
Thus, the consumption of this fruit began to become popular in some American kitchens, although it was probably not guacamole from the beginning.
Why is guacamole so popular at the Super Bowl?
Today guacamole is inseparable from a game of the National Football League, especially in the big game.
Only in 2021 the Association of Producers and Packers Exporters of Avocado of Mexico (APEAM), reported that every seven minutes a truckload of avocados from Michoacán was sent to the United States to meet the demand during Super Bowl LV. For this year’s edition it is estimated that about 140 thousand tons will be shipped for the event.
Teacher Sebastián Amaro details that the fame of guacamole in the United States It is related to several aspects: boom world avocado productionthe proximity of the territories, the commercial relations and the migration of Mexican people and their influence:
“We cannot forget thatMigrants go with all their cultural and food history to these new scenarios… We cannot understand Los Angeles without the presence of Mexicans, California, Texas, precisely states where football is important and that helps to position Mexican cuisine in these events.”
In addition, it should be remembered that in the 1940s, thousands of Mexican “braceros” went to work in the American fields, they took their dishes with them and in turn, when they returned to the country, they brought with them the custom of eating hamburgers and other flavors.
The Super Bowl I was played in 1967, in Los Angeles, since then the venues have been characterized by being warm weatherMiami and New Orleans stand out. This 2022 will be in California, the place where the first Mexican avocado plantations prospered.
It is not clear when guacamole came into the game, but if it was prepared in the 1960s and 1970s it was not with avocados brought from Mexico, since the United States government maintained the ban on avocado imports from 1914 to 1997, 83 years in which they were considered to be a risk to agriculture.
After it was verified that the Michoacan avocado was free of pests, the border began to open to receive it; In addition, in 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) entered into operation, in which agreements on avocado were included.
Sebastian Amaro explains that the boom of this fruit began in the 90s, with the ease of placing it in the markets and the influence of the media.
Now guacamole will appear for the seventh time in Super Bowl ads promoting Mexican avocados, crowning itself the winner of the game.