Years ago, before the bambinos entered our lives, Braydon and I vacationed often along the Caribbean coast of Mexico. We love that part of the world. After a day of exploring the Yucatan’s amazing land and amazing sea there was nothing better than some good chips dipped in some fresh, cool, creamy guacamole (with a beer or a marg, of course). The guac was always made in well-used molcajetes, and I became convinced (rightly so) that guacamole de molcajete was much, much better than guacamole made any other way.
One year on one of our trips, I told Braydon that I wanted very much to buy a molcajete. It was May, and I had just graduated from my PhD program. Braydon took it upon himself to make sure that I got a molcajete on that trip — in part as a gift for me at time in our lives that was a major milestone. We began a quest to find one, but quickly discovered that the molcajetes they were selling to tourists weren’t the real deal. They were sort of ‘knock-off’ molcajetes, made with cheap fake volcanic rock, and made in some sort of factory to make them appear distressed without really being so. I didn’t want a tourist-knock-off, I wanted the real thing.
One night in the resort restaurant we started talking about our molcajete woes with a server with whom we had become friendly over the week. He explained that the places to buy real molcajetes are in the big markets where no tourists ever go. He said that if we gave him the money he’d go to the market and buy one for us on his day off — the next day — and bring it to the restaurant for us at lunchtime the following day. We went out on a limb, trusted the guy, and gave him the money. Sure enough, he delivered it, as promised, and it became — instantly — one of my most valued possessions on earth.
The bambinos have been eating guacamole de molcajete their whole lives, so they are spoiled when it comes to guac! If you don’t have a molcajete, you can still make guacamole — you just have to mash it up in a bowl instead of in the molcajete. But a molcajete really does make amazing guacamole, so if you’re guac lovers (like us), it might be worth buying one!
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Guacamole de Molcajete:
You’ll need the following — all to taste — add as much or as little as you like of each of the ingredients: chopped fresh tomatoes, chopped red onion, fresh cilantro, lime, fresh avocado, salt. You can also add jalepeno (we are in a phase right now where we don’t add any jalepeno because Meera is very sensitive to it). Note: for our family we use a tomato (or 2 if they are small), about 1/4 of a red onion, a handful of cilantro, 1 lime, 2 avocados, and a couple of grinds of sea salt.
Put some onion, cilantro, and salt in the molcajete. Mash it, mush it, grind it all up.
Add lime and tomato and avocado. Mash it, mush it, grind it all up.
Dig in! Delish! And when you’re done with the appetizer (the guac), if you still have room for dinner, you can have make-your-own tacos/burritos/quesadillas!