Culture

Apparently The First English Recipe For Guacamole Was Written By A Pirate And Why Aren’t We Surprised

Have you ever wondered how guacamole ever made its way into a worldwide phenomenon? That is, beyond the fact that of course everyone likes it because it is hella delicious. Rather, have you brushed up on your history, and could you tell us about the who, what, when, where and how of guac’s ascendency to culinary fame? We’re guessing the answer’s no, since you’re still here, reading. Well, buckle up, kids. This is the story about how the original guac recipe made its way into the English language.

The story starts with a white dude. Because of course it does.

Creative Commons / National Portrait Gallery

To give you a bit of background, British-born William Dampier is the guy who put pen to paper and immortalized the first guacamole recipe in English. But, the story about how he got to that point is more interesting than it would seem. Dampier was a pirate, who started his career in 1679, in Mexico’s Bay of Campeche. This was back in the day where the gold standard of a pirate diet was basically dried beef, bread and warm beer – yeah, there’s nothing more that tastes of success than warm beer. The worst a pirate’s lifestyle lead to situations that included cannibalism and scurvy. It makes Pirates of the Caribbeansound like a picnic.

So here’s the thing. Dampier’s fascination with food is understandable. After all, it’s not like he was experiencing fine dining when he was at sea. What was a little more unusual was the fact that he decided to write about his experiences tasting the myriad of dishes he was offered throughout his travels. In fact, Dampier’s record-keeping was so meticulous that after fifteen years of piracy, he converted his notes into a bestselling novel: A New Voyage Around the World. Okay, okay, he was also probably motivated to explore a career as an author at that time because Spain had sentenced him to a year in prison. Nobody’s perfect, right?

Yeah, but get to the part about guac.

Instagram / @itsfresh

If you’re thinking that Dampier’s story is sounding a little familiar, we’ll tell you why: he was one hell of a basic travel blogger. He literally experienced the same existential crisis we all have in our twenties, decided that the standard career paths in logging and sugar plantations weren’t for him, and then set off around the world documenting his travels. We all know that if he had access to Insta, he would’ve been killing it in the influencer game.

Dampier’s journeys saw him mix with the locals he met throughout Latin America, and that’s where he fell in love with guacamole. It was in the Bay of Panama that Dampier wrote about a fruit “as big as a large lemon … [with] skin [like] black bark, and pretty smooth.” More flavor was added to it when the ripened fruit was “mixed with sugar and lime juice and beaten together [on] a plate.” And there we have it, amigas: the OG guac recipe, in English.

And that brings us to the guac recipes of today.

Pinterest / Macheesmo

Obviously, guacamole as a recipe hasn’t stayed the same since Dampier’s time. Granted, your abuelita probably puts her own special twist on her guac creations. That’s why we all love her so much – and why her guacamole recipes always keep us coming back for seconds … and thirds.

Then again, we’ve also seen some pretty horrendous reincarnations of the beloved guac. Some more atrocious examples of this include adding ranch seasoning to the standard recipe, some godforsaken pineapple guacamole, a moron’s take that saw fresh peas added with a hold on the lime juice, and for whatever reason the decision to include lettuce. Oh, and let’s not forget about the pomegranate guacamole

So, what crazy takes have you seen on the traditional guac? Or better yet, do you have a favorite, go-to guacamole recipe? Let us know on Facebook – you can find us through the icon at the top of the page.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

7 Avocado-Packed Super Bowl Snacks That Aren’t Guacamole

Culture

7 Avocado-Packed Super Bowl Snacks That Aren’t Guacamole

Football fans all over the world are getting ready for one of the most important sports events of the year: the Super Bowl. Sure, this Super Bowl is going to look very different since we should all be watching the game from home. But we should still be able to treat ourselves to the awesome snacks that come with the game, even if you’re not a legit sports fan.

The biggest party of the National Football League will take place this Sunday in Tampa Bay, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This year has promised an unforgettable event that will feature The Weeknd performing for the game’s half-time show..

Of course, avocados are the official food of the Super Bowl but – as our tias taught us – there’s so much more to them than guacamole. Here are seven mouthwatering alternatives to guacamole to put those decadent avocados to good use.

Avocado Hummus Dip

Can’t choose between hummus or guacamole? Try this delicious mash-up of the two. Get the recipe here.

Cheesy Stuffed and Baked Aguacate

stuffed baked avocados

This is some superior stuffing technique, people. And if you haven’t tried cooked avocado before, trust us: You’re in for a treat.

Avocado Mac-n-Cheese

Mmm… Cheese is delightfully creamy, avocados are delightfully creamy — it sounds like a match made in heaven to me!

Baked Avocado Fries

With a crunchy, crispy coating and a mouthwatering, tender inside, these fries will have you coming back for more. And more. And more…

Avocado Banana Horchata-Style Smoothie

Avocado Banana Horchata-Style Smoothie
Credit: Aguacates Frescos – Saborea Uno Hoy

A twist on a traditional drink, avocados and bananas give this horchata a boost of fruit flavor and more health benefits, including a good source of fiber and calcium. Adding fresh avocados to smoothies is a great way to help the family — from kids to aging parents — get more nutrient-dense foods in their daily diet.

Click here to start your day with this recipe.

Chocolate Avocado Brownies

Don’t knock it until you try it! These chocolate avocado brownies are incredible.

Creamy Avocado Daiquiris

Avocado in a cocktail? Sign me up! These creamy avocado daiquiris are a game day must.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Neiman Marcus Is Charging White People Prices For “Traditional, Handmade” Tamales And The Internet Has Had Enough

Culture

Neiman Marcus Is Charging White People Prices For “Traditional, Handmade” Tamales And The Internet Has Had Enough

America’s fancification and appropriation of simple, traditional foods – especially “ethnic foods” – reached another milestone with the news that Dallas-based retailer Neiman Marcus is now selling gourmet tamales on its website at a pretty astounding price — six dozen for $92, plus $18 for shipping. That’s $110 for 72 tamales.

How have we made it this far without Neiman Marcus tamales? For years, we’ve been relying on handmade tamales from our tías and primas like peasants, unaware that luxury tamales were just a click and a payday away.

The luxury tamales made headlines in outlets ranging from the Dallas Morning News to GQMy San Antonio called it “an outright food foul,” taking this “usually affordable, traditional dish” and tacking on “an outrageous price tag.”

But is it really at all surprising that a luxury retailer is trying to make a buck off our people’s food and culture?

Neiman Marcus is the type of place where you can expect to see a Mexican-inspired jacket, such as this one, retailing for more than $300.

Given the propensity for corporations from around the world to try and capitalize off other people’s cultures, it really isn’t too surprising that Neiman Marcus would launch a line of luxury tamales.

Now the Dallas-based luxury retailer is once again offering up ‘luxury yet tradition’ with their ‘handmade’ tamales.

Although news of the tamales has once again shocked many of us, it isn’t exactly new. It was in 2016 when Neiman Marcus first started offering these highbrow tamales and even then it made headlines. And it’s easy to see why.

An order of six dozen Neiman Marcus tamales will set you back $92, plus shipping. Neiman Marcus tamales might look like regular tamales, but they’re actually very expensive and fancy. They are “handmade from a traditional recipe of fresh stone-ground corn, top-quality meats, lard, spices, and natural flavorings.” Can the food truck by your office honestly claim that its meats are top-quality? Or is your mama using luxury masa?! 

At six dozen (72 total if you’re too lazy to do the math), the $92 price tag isn’t totally off the mark, especially if they’re truly handmade. Anyone who has helped make tamales during the holidays knows that it’s not only time-consuming, it also takes a bit of practice. (And if you screw up too often, you’ll be roasted for it by your mom and tías).

They’re only available in beef, chicken and pork. Sorry, folks, no rajas. Unfortunately for Neiman Marcus customers, they’ll never experience what it’s like to unwrap a tamal, bite into it and realize it’s a random tamal de dulce that got mixed in with a different batch. 

But wait, there’s more! You can also order an “Enchilada Dinner” for $72.

Neiman Marcus didn’t stop with the tamales. Shoppers can also order flautas and enchiladas. In fact, for $72, plus $18 shipping, you get 12 enchiladas: six with beef and six with chicken.

Yup, Neiman Marcus is asking people to pay $90 for 12 enchiladas.

Just curious as to how many people are actually paying these white people prices to get their hands on traditional Mexican foods?

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