Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Um, Excuse me? Are you going to finish that?

(a/k/a Holy Guacomole!)

Prompted by the Red Dress Club:  RemembeRED : This week, we'd like for you to write about your favorite fresh fruit or vegetable. Share a memory of when you first tasted it, where it came from, when you last had it, a favorite way to prepare it, and such.

I remember being uncharacteristically nervous..  I felt a sudden, all consuming warmth come over me starting at my face and ending at the very tip of my pinky toes.  Yes, even the wee little piggy toe had succumbed to the fear.  My heart was fighting to stay in my chest while my brain tried to overcome the weakness in my hands, much like an allergic reaction, except for the fact that I hadn’t eaten it yet!  

It was crazy, I knew that.  What could possibly be so intimidating about tasting a new food?  And such an exotic, sexy one at that.  What was happening to me?  I've never backed away from a challenge.  I’m always game, often even excited to try new things, broaden my horizons.  It’s a darn fruit.  Or vegetable?  I didn’t even know that, nor did I care.  I was more concerned with this strange and overwhelming sensation and determined to gain control of it.  After all, what’s the worst that could happen, I casually spit it into my napkin? Excuse myself from the table and daintily dart for the ladies room and ever so quickly yet, oh-so-nonchalantly, purge it from my system?..

The fact is, that is EXACTLY what I was afraid of!  I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t from fear of embarrassing myself, because it was, partly.  But more importantly, more worrisome to me was that I might embarrass him.

Allow me to elaborate.

We were dining in a Mexican restaurant.  Not just any Mexican restaurant, it was gorgeous, classy and crowded!  A large portion of that crowd consisting of my future husband’s (him) family, many of whom I had not met before.   Funny, I didn’t worry about having too many margaritas (truth is I knew I wouldn’t be alone there), or  overbearing onion breath or even spilling the very red, very spicy salsa on my bleached white blouse (which I thankfully did not).  No, it was just this unknown, this new oddity, this AVOCADO.  The restaurant was known for their homemade, table-side guacamole.  So, naturally, “Guacamole all around!”    Yay!       Not.

Frankly, there were a lot of things that confused me about this odd little fruitegetable.. It was a gruesome looking thing on the outside, dark-green and pimply, not round, not oval; the smell neither sweet nor sour, the texture neither soft nor hard.  How do you form an opinion on something so…. So, complicated!?

Admittedly, it tempted me, as I watched the first of many volcanic stone bowls erupt with the medley of ingredients.  First the minced red onion which stung my nose and brought a tear to my eye but, curiously, did not seem to affect the preparer in the least…followed by the vine-ripened tomatoes which snapped as they were diced assuring us of their freshness.  Next the serrano chilies, the "fire" of this tantalizing concoction, a pinch of salt, a dash of pepper and trickle of lime juice.  So far, so good... my jowls tightened, my taste buds tingled, my belly yearned for the deliciousness before me... then came the Avocado....

Sliced in half, pit removed, the leather-like skin peeled away.   I was amazed at how the Guac-chef effortlessly sliced and chopped the pieces into exact, symmetrical cubes (you fellow OCDers can appreciate my amazement).  The mixture was tossed meshing the flavors, colors and fragrances, appreciatively disguising the avocado, hiding it among those elements with which I was more familiar, more comfortable.  Maybe I can do this, I thought.  Then came the chips; the crisp, warm, crunchy tortilla chips, so fresh you could see the wisp of heavenly goodness rise to the nostrils of each person as if with a mission, captivating their senses and drawing them in.   One by one, the other family members, as if hypnotized, proceeded to feast on the chips and dip.  The restaurant became silent as one diner after another fell under the dishes spell.  Here's my chance I remember thinking.  While everyone is distracted, I can steal a bite and easily cover my dissatisfaction if I don't like it.

*Nibble, nibble... gobble!* Amor!  It was all it had promised to be and more.. a gift from the gods, a flavor to be savored, my eventual obsession.. It had it all; a firm, hearty, spicy bouquet of goodness.  One might refer to it as "the Johnny Depp of snack foods".  It satisfied every craving ~ the hotter the better!
I often think about that night, and how fear almost prevented me from discovering a fabulous delicacy.  "He" is now my husband (of 23+ years!) and I find it much easier to embarrass him  Wait, that came out wrong....  I'm much older wiser and more confident now.  Most nights my head is so buried in the bowl I barely notice him enter the room...... unless he reaches for a chip! ;)

I eat it so often I've earned the title "Hot Queen Momma" (or is that because of the flashes?, hmmmmmm..) ;)

♪♫Ole ole - ole ole / Ole ole - ole ole
So we go rum-bum-bum-bum
Yeah we rum-bum-bum-bum
Feeling hot hot hot -- Feeling hot hot hot


  1. Oh how I love guacamole. I will actually even just slice an avocado open, sprinkle salt on it, and enjoy. I can understand why you would have been unsure, having never tasted it though. I did have to giggle at the OCD part. Having OCD, I can appreciate perfectly cut slices. :) Oh and I love the picture of the toilet in the header. That is one fancy potty!

  2. Well done, Momma! *Nibble, nibble... gobble!* Amor!
    Love guacamole.

  3. "the Johnny Depp of snack foods" INDEED! I hated guacamole. Despised it in fact. Until I became pregnant for the third time. One day I craved the stuff. I didn't understand why but that day, once I started eating it, I couldn't stop and haven't to this day. Almost three years later (including pregnant time).

    Your description did me in. The chips, warm and fluffy yet crisp scooping up the green deliciousness. I need some. NOW!

  4. Avocados are food from the gods. My parents, coming from New York, do not understand this. But as a California girl, I can tell you that guac is, indeed, the "Johnny Depp of snack food."

  5. I was the same way until I had my friends guac! Its heaven! I can eat it on anything....except maybe chocolate, but everything else.

    Great post!

  6. This was so fun, looking forward to doing it again! Come on over for some chips and dip (and maybe a Margarita or 2) ;)

  7. What a FUN post! I adore guacamole and am so very glad that you've made your peace with it! And 23 years later (!!) I love that you're still sharing chips!

  8. This was awesome! And I've been a longtime fan of that silly little "fruitegetable",lol. But I'm not really sure which it is either! My husband had a similar thing like this happen the first time he come to America to see me. We too were having dinner with some of my family and I'll never forget the shades of red that he turned when the bowl of guacamole was placed before him. (He loves it now too though.)

  9. Reading all these TRDC posts is making me hungry! Loved your, "the Johnny Depp of snack foods!" While I might have had it when I was younger and don't remember, I first was introduced to avacado via sushi as a teen. Heaven! And I didn't eat guac until I was an adult. But, I love that green "fruitegetable!"

  10. mmmm I loooove avocado and guacamole! such a staple of my life growing up in So Cal. summer to me tastes like tortilla chips with avocado right out of the peel. so glad you found your love for it. I don't trust people who don't like guac. hah!

  11. You had me at guacamole. Mexican is my favorite cuisine, and guac might be my favorite part.

    I thought you did an excellent job describing the different that go into the guacamole that made you feel ok about trying it.

  12. I enjoyed this line:
    "The mixture was tossed meshing the flavors, colors and fragrances, appreciatively disguising the avocado, hiding it among those elements with which I was more familiar, more comfortable."

    It's so true that guacamole seems so gross...until you taste it!

    You captured that initial revulsion and then the love of how yummy it is quite well!

  13. I remember when the girl was in kindergarten and they made guacamole in class - in our super white-bread city, no less - and I was so excited that she actually ate it and loved it, that I would by avocados all the time so that she and her friends could make and eat it at home.