Saturday, 13 October 2007

Guacomole (Αβοκάντο κρέμα)

Avocados are a relatively new fruit to Greece. The southern Greek climate is perfectly suited for their rapid growth, they are a sturdy plant not prone to serious attacks by pests and disease, and as their market value is high, the avocado has become one of the most popular alternative crops being planted in Crete. When they were first brought out onto the Greek market, the locals basically didn't know what to make of them. They thought of them as a fruit, so they served them after the traditional olive oil-y meal. They weren't sweet enough, so they sprinkled some sugar over them (thereby doubling the caloric value of the crop itself). They were then told to eat them as a salad, so they cut them up in a shallow dish and doused them in olive oil, not taking into account that the avocado itself was naturally endowed with its own lipids. I think that Greeks still view them as a mysterious crop. Avocado lends itself in Greek cuisine as a colourful addition to a tomato or lettuce salad, omitting the copious amounts of oil.
Here is my favorite dip, taking pride of place over traditional Greek dips such as taramosalata and hummus (but not tzatziki - that's a special one when made properly). With a hint of hot spice, it's perfect for chilly winter weather. Maybe it's the green colour; I even had my walls painted light green when I was living all by myself (and had control over whatever happened in my life, and made up my own rules about how I wanted to live). We have guacomole with bean or lentil soup, and dry roast meats. I love it with julienned vegetables (carrots, celery, cucumber) and crisps.
Take one soft but not bruised avocado. The one I used looked like the one in the photo; it was a South African imported variety (I'm still waiting for someone to give me some avocados fromt he village). Peel and stone it, put it into the blender with three cloves of garlic, some salt, a pinch of ground chili pepper, and the juice of a large lemon. Whizz everything together. If the mixture seems a bit gritty, and it isn't blending together, add a tablespoon of tomato juice or olive oil in the blender to smoothen out the lumps.

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