This Secret Ingredient Is the Key to the Best Guacamole Ever
If you've ever gone camping you probably know that the only correct mentality is to "find out". Surprise rain? Find out. Forgot your sleeping bag at home? Find out. Can't find the nearest gas station and no service? Find out. Tried to whip up some guacamole for your campfire taco dinner but didn't buy any limes? Find out. Fortunately, of all these predicaments, I've only experienced one. Can you imagine which one it is? Worst of all - NO LIMES FOR FRESH GUAC! AH!
As a seasoned camper, I know that the only way to get through a difficult situation like this is to stay calm and composed and think a little outside the box to get the most out of your situation. When I was recently on a camping trip and discovered that we had forgotten to get limes for our fresh guacamole from the store, I scratched my head and looked closely at the clementines that we had conveniently bought to nibble on. Could you do the trick? If life gives you clementines and not limes, then you put that in your guacamole and hope for the best.
WATCH: How to Make Guacamole Bowls
The results? Let's just say our little clementines did the job and MORE. The subtle sweetness gave the guacamole a citric, light taste without any bitterness. If you think about that, this substitute actually makes a lot of sense - if you've ever made a margarita, you'll know that most recipes call for triple sec (orange liqueur) or freshly squeezed orange juice. The sweetness that oranges and clementines offer works well to offset the overtly sour taste of a lime. Not only did we forgive ourselves for forgetting to buy such an important guacamole component, we made a promise to ourselves that without our miraculous substitution we would never make a guacamole again.
Ever since that breathtaking camping discovery, I've been happy to make guacamole with a few different acidic components whenever I can. Samin Nosrat mentioned on her podcast that she likes to layer acids when making a homemade salad dressing because it adds complexity to such a simple sauce. For example, she will use both red wine vinegar and fresh lemon juice to create a more interesting and nuanced dressing. I think the same should apply to any sauce or dish. My idea of a perfect guacamole is very reduced. I don't add tomatoes, onions, corn, or GREEK YOGURT (dear god) because I don't think they're necessary. Avocados, coriander, jalapeños, fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper are really all you need.
That said, I now like to "layer" different citrus fruits whenever I can. The difference in adding a pinch of orange or clementine on top of fresh lime and / or lemon juice is subtle but extremely powerful. I even tried a version made with fresh grapefruit juice (it's my favorite citrus fruit, NBD) and the results were just as delicious. Point is - don't be afraid to get creative with your citrus fruits and acids. You never know which combos will taste delicious together. And if you're not sure which combination of citrus fruits to use in your next homemade guac, find out.
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