These Taquerias Are Trying To Fool Diners With #MockGuac Made From An Ingredient You’d Never Suspect
Few things go together quite like tacos and guacamole. Or really fill in the blank and guacamole. Many of us are totally fine with putting avocado, and it’s condiment hermana, on pretty much anything.
So when news broke that taquerias in Mexico City have been serving more and more fake guacamole – or as we prefer to call it, “mock guac” – we were super incensed. I mean when I’m chomping down on tacos de bistec I expect to taste the rich and creamy topping that is guacamole.
But that tasty pleasure is becoming less and less common across Mexico. The reasons: the gigantic demand, the bad harvests, the Americans, and the drug cartels.
We first learned of this ultimate betrayal thanks to a story by Chilango magazine who released a shocking expose.
Chilango, the magazine that covers all things Mexico City, was the first whistleblower that exposed the breach of avocado security last week. In the article, they reveal that a Twitter user named @Karligrafia was the first to tweet about the scam and become viral for it.
Tacos are staples of Mexico City palates. Thousands, if not millions of residents eat them every day from the thousands of street stalls and restaurants that dot nearly every corner of the capital. And if you can’t trust your taquero…who can you trust?
The country is not only the world’s largest exporter of avocados but also the largest consumer. A Mexican eats, on average, more than seven kilos of avocado.
But it’s not just Mexican demand causing it. The Americans are to blame as well.
Americans’ insatiable appetite for avocado is causing more and more tacos with fake guacamole to be sold in Mexico. Rising demand for the fruit in the US, caused by the craze for brunch dishes such as avocado on toast, as well as a weak crop in California, is increasing demand and forcing prices up in Mexico.
Last year alone, Mexico sold more than US$2.5 billion worth of avocados to the United States. A greater value than oil exports.
Even the Super Bowl is to blame.
For the 2019 Super Bowl alone, Mexico exported 120,000 tons of avocado to the United States, says APEAM, the Association of Avocado Producers and Exporters. 20% more than last year.
But it’s also a drug cartel problem.
And now even Mexican drug cartels are involved in the avocado business. In the state of Michoacán, the center of synthetic drug production and, thanks to geographical and climatic conditions, a “paradise” for the cultivation of avocados, drug traffickers extort the peasants, who pay for alleged “protection” or “land use rights” for the cultivation of “green gold.
But even worse: in order to increase the surface area of avocado crops, illegal logging of forests is increasing. Avocados need tons of water. A scarce commodity. And, to top it all, climate change is adding to the problem.
So what exactly is in this #mockguac?
Well, as avocado prices have soared, Mexican chefs have had to turn to a cheap and plentiful alternative, the humble calabacita – or Mexican zucchini squash.
Once the squash are boiled up and blended with the rest of the ingredients – green tomato, coriander and chili peppers – and pureed into a creamy, smooth consistency, some culinary experts claim few could tell the difference.
“The scariest part is that it tastes almost exactly like your standard taqueria guacamole: bright, spicy, rich, and very satisfying,” said Javier Cabral, editor of LATaco, a food and culture site and producer of Netflix series, Taco Chronicles.
This shocking news got us like…
Same child. Same.
Many were surprised that this news of #faceguac wasn’t making bigger headlines around the world!
We are in 100% agreement. I mean this story has everything you need to go big – betrayal, lies, drama.
But at least one Twitter user reminded us that things could be much much worse.
I mean…mayo with guacamole. Noooo thank you. I’ll take a Mexican vegetable substitute any day over this. Although, it’s not totally far fetched. For awhile there were rumors that Chipotle was adding sour cream to it’s guacamole to make it last longer and prevent it from browning too quickly.