Who doesn’t love a good bowl of guacamole? It’s refreshing, it pairs well with a diverse array of foods, and it can be as simple or as elaborate as you decide it should be. Just about everybody, from the Takeout staff to alligators in the southeastern U.S., has love for the avocado-based dish.
However, due to recent weather-induced price spikes for the avocado, some restaurants have reportedly begun to engage in the unthinkable: guacamole without avocados. Good Morning America highlights this surprisingly-easy-to-execute deception, which some California restaurants have been using to sidestep the skyrocketing per-case price of avocados at the moment. By using calabacita, a Mexican summer squash, chefs can roughly approximate the taste and texture of guacamole, albeit with a lighter and more watery consistency.
L.A. Taco editor Javier Cabral, who initially drew attention to the substitution method, bluntly describes it as “a confusingly neon-green, avocado-less crime against taco humanity that no taquero will ever proudly admit to committing.” While Cabral acknowledges that the taste is fairly similar (and that it even “oxidized and started to turn brown after about 30 minutes”), he asserts that there’s no replacing the real deal.
And while we’re intrigued by the possibilities of the calabacita, we’d be hard-pressed to disagree about the irreplaceable nature of the avocado. Even the finest imitator is still an imitator, so we’ll save our pennies for the real deal.