Cai King describes her families first encounter with guacamole. My transplanted from ND Mom loved avocados, but I don’t recall her ever making guacamole. She ate it plain and on sandwiches, but I was an adult before I had my first guacamole and chips. I never looked back. It is a staple in our house and one of my favorite foods.
My mom and dad grew up with a diet rich in root vegetables and this thing called “rhubarb.” Exotic produce in my family meant a red onion, so you can only imagine what our first encounter with an avocado was like once we landed here in California. And gawk-uh-moe-lee? Why would you eat something you can’t spell? (Here we come full circle back to rhubarb.) It must have been my mother’s progressive friend Ginnie—she did cool crafts like macramé—who brought guacamole into my life at one of her 60s-era pool parties (caftans!). Ginnie used real avocados, not sour cream with a few drops of green food coloring trying to pass for guacamole. Chunky, with finely chopped onion and tomato, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, a squish of lime, and jalapeño for the bold—add tortilla chips and you have dinner fit for a “King.” For that, I will forever be grateful. Cai King, Fresno, California