First, let’s give credit to the ancient Aztecs for the gift of guacamole. (Another gift: The word "avocado" comes from the Aztec word ahuacatl, meaning “testicle.”)
Now that I have your attention…
Although rooted in Mexican culture and tradition, guacamole has evolved to take on a variety of influences and non-traditional ingredients — American culture has appropriated the dish so much that it’s practically the “poster food” for Super Bowl Sunday.
Lucky for us, this means there are literally countless versions of guacamole recipes out there for us to enjoy; and the best guacamole starts, of course, with the best avocados.
Finding the perfectly ripe avocado is nothing short of an art form because the window of ideal ripeness is infuriatingly short: too early and the avocado will be hard, fibrous, and tasteless; but too late and you’ll find yourself with dark brown fruit with significant flavor degradation.
The easiest way to determine if an avocado is ripe is to gently squeeze the fruit in the palm of your hand. Ripe and ready avocados will yield to gentle pressure. Another trick is to lightly press down on the stem; if it gives just a little, your avocado is ripe; but if the stem sinks in too far, the avocado may be past its prime.
A slightly over-ripe avocado may be imperfect, but it is no reason to waste food. Before tossing your avocado in the trash, see if you can remove the darker spots, and note that you can sometimes mask that “too ripe” taste with other powerful flavors like lime, chile, and cilantro.
Beyond the avocado, the rest is up to you! Get inspired by these 50 — yes, 50 — guacamole recipes taken from The Daily Meal’s recipe archive.