The origin of guacamole
The word guacamole has its origin in the Nahuatl language: «Ahuacamolli», being the combination of the words: «ahuacatl» (avocado) and «molli» (mole or sauce). According to mythology, the Toltec god Quetzalcoatl offered this recipe to his people and it was later passed down through the area of Mesoamerica, located in eastern and central Mexico and Guatemala.
It is believed that the Aztecs were among the first people to make guacamole, which was from the beginning, only made of avocado. Guacamole became incredibly popular in Mesoamerican society due to the nutritional value of avocados. Avocados have high fat and protein content. At that time, diets in society had a relatively low fat content and, as such, became a vital element of the diet of the native people. In addition, the Aztecs believed that the guacamole was an aphrodisiac, further increasing its popularity. When the Europeans arrived, they also enjoyed the dish, even trying to replicate it with avocado substitutes. However, the substitutes failed to reach the same level of popularity, and European interest in avocado grew dramatically.
Before the arrival of the Europeans to the new world, the ingredients of the guacamole were avocado, tomato and chili, mashed in a molcajete. After the conquest, Mexican cuisine was transformed and with it the guacamole.
Persian lime, now a principal ingredient of many guacamole recipes, originated in South Asia, was produced on a large scale in the Middle East and reached western Europe at the time of the crusades. Finally, in 1493, it was introduced to the Americas by Columbus on his second trip. However, the exchange with the cultures provided new flavors to the guacamole. Both onion, Persian lime, garlic and coriander were added and are common ingredients in guacamole today.
- Fundación Española de la Nutrición. (S.F.). Aguacate [PDF File]. Recovered from: http://www.fen.org.es/mercadoFen/pdfs/aguacate.pdf
- México Desconocido. (agosto 2018) Guacamole, una salsa de origen prehispánico que nos encanta. Recovered from: https://www.mexicodesconocido.com.mx/guacamole-salsa.html
- Una Kavanagh. (2015) Food for Thought: A Short History of Guacamole. Recovered from: https://www.her.ie/life/food-for-thought-a-short-history-of-guacamole-126918