… from the California Kitchen
How you doin’? We often discuss the origins or discoveries of different foods. I read an interesting article from Atlas Obscura by Luke Fater. Would you believe that the first internationalization of that famous fruit-based dip called Guacamole was first penned by William Dampier, a famous 17th century pirate?... yes, pirate.
Even though he was a ruthless, murdering, torturing bastard, he still loved a proper set table while on ship and land. This was very unusual since the perceived glamour of piracy is that its practitioners lived poorly and ate even worse. Skirting death, mutiny and capture left little room for comfort or transformative culinary experiences. The greatest names in piracy, wealthy by the day’s standards, ate as one today might on a poorly provisioned camping trip composed of dried beef, hardtack and warm beer. In those days of exploration and discovery the ocean seas were no place for an adventurous appetite—pirate or otherwise.
Privateer William Dampier allowed himself the curiosity for food. This pirate played a pioneering role in spreading ingredients and cuisines wherever he traveled—a Spanish prison excluded. He gave us the words “tortilla,” “soy sauce,” and “breadfruit,” while unknowingly recording the first ever recipe for Guacamole. Who better to expose the Western world to the far corners of earth’s culinary bounty than someone who, by necessity, made many of these places his hiding places?
William Dampier’s food-writing firsts included the use of the words “barbecue” and “chopsticks.” Dampier kept a journal wrapped in a wax-sealed bamboo tube throughout his journeys. During a year-long prison sentence in Spain in 1694, Dampier would convert these notes into a novel, A New Voyage Around The World, which became a bestseller and seminal travelogue for its time. It read like an episode of Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations.
While I can’t offer you recipes for flamingos, penguins or turtles I will share my recipe for my best Guacamole fit for William Dampier’s pirate table.
A tried-and-true Guacamole recipe that's easy to make, uses fresh ingredients and is loaded with flavor. It's the best Guacamole hands down. Read below to the ChefSecret to learn how to prevent you Guacamole from turning brown
Prep Time: 10 mins
Yield: 4 Servings
3 large ripe Hass avocados
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 cup finely diced jicama
1/2 cup diced Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped crisp-cooked bacon (optional)
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 finely diced jalapeño pepper, seeds and seams removed
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
ChefSecret: What’s the best way to store your prized Guacamole so it will last longer without turning brown? Turns out there's a simple solution for keeping your mashed up avocado fresh and green for a few more days.
The solution lies with good old H2O. Topping off your avocado dip with water keeps air, at least in part, from being able to penetrate the Guacamole, which keeps it from browning. By using this simple technique, you can keep the brown at bay for about two days (maybe longer if you're lucky).
1. Once you're ready to store the Guacamole, place it in an airtight storage container or a bowl that you will cover tightly with plastic wrap.
2. Use a spoon to flatten the surface of the dip and remove any air bubbles.
3. Gently add about a half-inch of water to the top of the Guacamole. Make sure the water covers the whole surface of the batch.
4. Put the lid or covering on the container, and store in the fridge for two to three days.
5. When you're ready to enjoy your Guacamole, gently pour off the water and stir before serving.
Quip of the Day: Albert Einstein once said, “There is a difference between genius and stupidity—genius has it limits.”
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