How to Make the Perfect Guacamole, According to the Folks from Barrio

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When the Spanish conquistadors invaded the Aztec empire back in the 1500s, they discovered locals making a chunky salsa called "ahuaca-mulli," which translates roughly to "avocado-mixture." The dish was prepared by smashing avocados, and adding fresh onions and tomatoes. 

Sounds about right, yes?

Throw in some jalapeños, add touch of lime juice, and- voila- you've got yourself some modern day guac.

But there are also some contemporary tricks of the trade that can help you turn your ordinary guacamole into a true crowd pleaser.

We recently caught up with the Sean Fairbairn, the owner of Barrio, and his crew in Lakewood. They shared their secrets to making the perfect guacamole. 

Step 1. Choose Your Avocados


Barrio Sous Chef Jimmy Kilbane says guacamole is all about the avocados. You'll want to select 1-2 ripe avocados for each person you're planning to serve. How do you tell if an avocado is ripe? You give it the ol' touch test. A perfectly ripe avocado should give slightly when you gently squeeze it. "A lot of people think it's about the color, but it's not," he says. Sometimes a green avocado can actually be more ripe than a brown avocado.  


Here, the green avocado on the left is actually more ripe than the brown one on the right.

Step 2. De-Stem and Halve Your Avocados


Barrio Kitchen Manager Anthony Reasor says first you de-stem your avocados, then you split them open. To halve an avocado, insert your knife into the fruit until you hit the seed, then simply rotate the avocado around the blade of your knife. You shouldn't actually have to move your knife at all.



Remove the seed by tapping it with the blade of your knife, and gently twisting. 


If the avocado is ripe, the seed will pop right out.


Step 3: Scoop the Flesh Out of the Peel


With a large spoon, scoop the meat of the fruit out from its peel. Again, it should slide right out if the fruit is ripe.


Step 4: Mash 'Em


Using a whisk or fork- whatever fits your fancy- mash the avocados until you've reached your desired consistency. At Barrio, Jimmy and Anthony mash until the chunks have dissolved and the mixture is smooth. "Look for as much of a sauce-like consistency as you can," says Anthony. If you want your gauc extra creamy, you can even throw the avocados in the blender, Anthony says. 


About The Author

Alaina Nutile

Alaina Nutile is the Web Editor who oversees all digital content and social media initiatives for Cleveland Scene Magazine and Detroit Metro Times. Before joining the staff in June 2013, she interned at Business Insider in New York City, and at La Hora in Quito, Ecuador. Alaina is a graduate of Kalamazoo College...
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