PORTLAND, Ore. — Twitter was all up in arms last week after it was revealed that some Mexican restaurants may be using a secret ingredient instead of avocados in their guacamole salsa.
News about the notorious crime first came to light when Twitter user @Karligrafia tweeted a picture of the fake guacamole along with the comment, "How old were you when you learned that guacamole from taco stands was made with Mexican squash instead of avocados that gives them the same color and texture?"
It didn't take long for Mexican magazine Chilango, which covers all things Mexican street food, to take notice and confirm @Kaligrafia's findings. Soon after that Javier Cabral of L.A. Taco confirmed that it's not only an issue in Mexico but also in taco stands in Los Angeles and beyond.
The high costs associated with avocados lumped with a poor growing season and an increased demand worldwide has had restaurants turning to use squash as an alternative. The cost increase can be better seen in grocery stores.
According to the most recent Department of Agriculture weekly retail price report, the average national price of a Haas avocado was $2.10 on July 5, compared to $1.17 from the July 6, 2018, report.
How is it made?
The recipe is shockingly similar to the real guacamole version made with cilantro, tomatillos, serrano chiles, garlic and salt. The only difference is instead of avocado, a type of Mexican squash, or Mexican zucchini or calabacitas (little pumpkins), is used instead.
Taste and texture
The taste between the real and fake guacamole is surprisingly similar. But falls short in texture. While the real guacamole is creamy and smooth, the fake version is watery.
Putting the newsroom to the test
We made some using Cabral's recipe and made real guacamole using a recipe from Cocinando con Mando and put the KGW newsroom to the test. Do you think they could tell the difference? Watch the video at the top of the story.