Testicles, avocados and lawyers. This is why I’m in love with etymology:
“The history of avocado takes us back to the Aztecs and their language, Nahuatl, which contained the word ahuacatl meaning both ‘fruit of the avocado tree’ and ‘testicle.’ The word ahuacatl was compounded with others, as in ahuacamolli, meaning ‘avocado soup or sauce,’ from which the Spanish-Mexican word guacamole derives.
“In trying to pronounce ahuacatl, the Spanish who found the fruit and its Nahuatl name in Mexico came up with aguacate, but other Spanish speakers substituted the form avocado for the Nahuatl word because ahuacatl sounded like the early Spanish word avocado (now abogado), meaning ‘lawyer.’
“In borrowing the Spanish avocado, first recorded in English in 1697 in the compound avogato pear (with a spelling that probably reflects Spanish pronunciation), we have lost some traces of the more interesting Nahuatl word.”
Meanwhile, here’s my favorite guacamole recipe. I like it really chunky and seasoned with toasted cumin the way my old chef used to make it. We always served this as a bed for crabcakes, but I trust you know what to do with a delicious guacamole.
And for the record, I have never had leftover guacamole after a party.
Chunky Guacamole Salad (Makes about 2 cups)
3 ripe avocados, halved, pitted and cut into 1-inch cubes, 2-3 medium tomatoes, cut into half-inch cubes, 1 medium cucumber, cut into half-inch cubes, 1 medium-sized red onion, cut into half-inch cubes, 1 lime, zested and squeezed, 1 tsp cumin, toasted and ground, 1 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste), 1/2 small jalapeno chile, minced (optional, if you like it spicy),
- Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir to blend. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
- Serve immediately on toast, with a big bowl of tortilla chips or as a side dish to an entree.
- To store: just cover it tightly with plastic wrap (avoid any air gaps) and chill for several hours. (The mixture may brown if you store it too long. Just stir it well to bring back some of the bright color.)