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Epazote in guacamole?

I have a friend from Oaxaca who swears by putting epazote into guacamole in addition to the usual suspects (garlic, lime, onions, cilantro, etc...). I think it tastes great, but....

Everyone else I've talked to says "that's weird" including friends from Mexico City, Morelia and Aguascalientes.

How common is using epazote in guacamole? I've never seen a reference to it, but then again, Mexican food is far from being my specialty!

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  1. I've lived and cooked and researched food in Mexico for 30 years. I have never heard of anyone adding epazote to guacamole. But god knows I will hear six people talk about it in the coming week--it's always that way!

    Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

    1. Some people like guacamole with only avocado, cream and little salt and puree it in a blender....some people use lime juice and some hate it with it....some say that a molcajete is a must, I´ve tried it with chicharrón and panela cheese...it was very good. There´s no rule, try everything.

      1. Epazote in guacamole: bad idea, and I've never heard of it. But who the hell cares. Fix it any way you want to; do you really think the Mexican Food Police are going to shame or arrest you?

        1 Reply
        1. re: dlglidden

          No, but they may make you buy them a refresco.

        2. Mexican food is my specialty and I've never heard of adding epazote to guacamole. But there are no rules in cooking. If you like it, anything goes. I will have to try this now.

          1. Ask and ye shall receive, happy chowing!

            From the Phoo-D blog

            Mr. B's Guacamole

            Phoo-D.com

            Serves 4-6

            As noted, adjust the quantities as you see fit. Guacamole should always be tweaked to match your individual tastes!

            Ingredients:

            4 avocados, sliced in half and pitted

            1/4 cup finely diced red onion

            1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely diced (use a jalapeño pepper if you don't like spicy)

            3 garlic cloves, minced

            1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

            2 small limes, juiced (or 1 large lime)

            1/4 teaspoon epazote

            1/4 teaspoon toasted onion powder (optional)

            1 Tablespoon olive oil

            Kosher salt

            Freshly cracked pepper

            Directions:

            Scoop the flesh of the avocados into a medium bowl. Add the onion, serrano pepper, garlic, and cilantro. Use a fork and gently mash the ingredients until they are just combined, but still very chunky. Add the lime juice and olive oil and stir until walnut-sized chunks remain. Add salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste.

            Note: If you are making this ahead of time, squeeze an extra bit of lime juice on the surface and press plastic wrap into the top of the dip. This will help prevent the avocados from oxidizing and turning an unappetizing shade of brown.

            11 Replies
            1. re: Gypsy Jan

              A quarter of a tsp of epazote for a bowl of guacamole that serves six?! That's like a martini made by just whispering the word "vermouth" over the surface of the gin. What's the point?

              1. re: dlglidden

                which is exactly how a martini should be made!
                ;)

              2. re: Gypsy Jan

                The recipe makes me think it has to be talking about dried epazote, which is blech (when you can find it.). 1/4 teaspoon of fresh epazote is going to be just about undetectible when mixed in with the rest of the ingredients. Never had epazote in guacamole and don't know if I'd like it, but I'd give it a try.

                1. re: Caroline1

                  The only dried epazote I've found in latin american tiendas in the SF Bay Area is 90% stems and twigs—virtually no leaves—and stems and twigs add only texture, not flavor.

                  1. re: dlglidden

                    Penzey's sells a Mexican epazote that's definitely not mostly stems and twigs and does indeed have flavor. It's not easy for me to find fresh epazote in Manhattan so I keep the dried on hand for cooking beans.

                    1. re: JoanN

                      There is epazote at the Union Square greenmarket as well as the mercados in Spanish Harlem.

                      1. re: JungMann

                        When I was first looking for epazote a couple of years ago, I traipsed from one mercado to another in Spanish Harlem and never found it. Never thought to look at Union Square. The one place I did find it was at Tehuitzingo, but they only had it ocassionally and it was sometimes pretty tired looking.

                        I could Google, but as long as I've got you here: Is there a particular season for it? I know it's a weed, but can you find it in the markets that carry it year round? Is it possible I was just looking for it at the wrong time?

                        1. re: JoanN

                          I think epazote is probably a warm weather herb up here, but I am pretty sure I saw it at Tepeyac market in early May -- although it was probably just as wilted as at Tehuitzingo. None of the greens in the Mexican markets look very healthy. The herb farmers on the northern edge of Union Square would be a better source if you decide to visit on a Friday or Saturday.

                          1. re: JungMann

                            I just planted some in my garden and it is growing great so far. Looking forward to using it in some beans.

                          2. re: JoanN

                            If you're ever in Queens, farmer's market in jackson heights almost always has fresh epazote (along with verdolagas and quelite): Travers Park, 34th Avenue, between 77th and 78th Streets; Open: June 6 - December 19, 2010; Sundays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

                            Many supermarkets in Jackson Heights also carry fresh epazote (e.g. Tradefair on 37th ave), but it's not always in great condition

                            1. re: jocoterojak

                              Not usually, but thanks for the info. I'm making a note in my copy of Mexican Kitchen.

                2. Epazote goes in beans, never in guac. Good God. And while we're at it, cream does not belong there, either. Why does this have to be said?

                  15 Replies
                  1. re: pikawicca

                    I make a damn good guac, and a friend of mine told me it wasn't "authentic" enough (never said it was - I'm not mexican, have never been to mexico) because I didn't put mayo in it. If mayo is authentic, then I'll stick to my gringo guac.

                      1. re: pikawicca

                        I agree, no dairy and no epazote in it for me and warn guests if it contains any dairy or, heaven forbid, mayo...please, for vegans' sake.

                        1. re: lgss

                          Ugh, God, they do this in Germany too. No wonder they call it "guacamole Dip."

                          Bleh, keep your mayo out of my guac! :)

                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                            HHAHHA my German mother in law is a phenomenal cook. She was over and saw some avocados and insisted on making a delicious 'salad' for us. She mashed the cream cheese with the avocados and then wanted to add lemon juice (we had limes on the counter as well). In the end, it was good, but it wasnt guacamole by any means.

                      2. re: irishnyc

                        Irish: You've obviously never heard the terrible, terrible joke about the "true" origen of the minor Mexican holiday "Cinco de Mayo" which explains the Mexican fascination with mayonnaise.

                        1. re: dlglidden

                          We would like to hear the joke, and the connection with mayonnaise, which never fascinated me for years in Mexico.

                          1. re: Veggo

                            Well, you asked for it . . .

                            After the Spanish conquest of México, Spanish merchants began exporting Spanish specialty food items to expat Spaniards in México who had grown tired of just eating beans, maiz, and chiles every day. One of these foods was, of course, mayonnaise.

                            Eventually the indigenous Mexicans acquired a taste for mayonnaise and the price went through the roof. A Spanish entrepreneur decided to take advantage of this situation and chartered a ship to transport 100,000 cases of mayonnaise from Spain to Veracruz. Word of this shipment got out and tens of thousands of Indios lined the docks anxiously awaiting the ship's arrival. Unfortunately, a horrible storm arose in the Atlantic and the ship and all its contents sank to the bottom of the ocean.

                            Those lining the docks became alarmed when the ship became seriously overdue. Finally, their worst fears were confirmed when the shipping agent addressed the assembled crowd and told them (in his best pidgeon Spanish) that "The storm sink-a de mayo."

                            The rest is history; this tragedy is remembered and memorialized annually in México on the 5th of May.

                            1. re: dlglidden

                              How have I managed to miss that one?

                              1. re: pikawicca

                                If you subscribe to the Mexico branch of Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree Message Board you will be treated to the retelling of this bad joke every year on May 5th for the rest of your life!

                                1. re: dlglidden

                                  On NPR this morning someone said he was ate an awful lot of mayo and ended up having to go to.....Mayo Clinic.

                              2. re: irishnyc

                                Mayo is never in authentic guacamole. Mexicans would scoff at this idea.

                            2. I abandoned the 'more is better' approach to guac years ago. In casa Veggo, its avocado, lime, salt, serve. Habanero salsa on the side.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Veggo

                                That's all I've ever Had in Mexicao\\\
                                That's all I've ever had in Mexico. Prepared table-side, 3 ingredients. Anything else seems weird to me.

                              2. Fresh epazote as opposed to dried?

                                1. Um, if you think it tastes good, it belongs there.

                                  However, I know two people who are made very ill when they ingest epazote. It's one of the herbs I rank at the bottom of my favorites. But if you like it, go for it. "Authentic" is a ridiculous metric to try to achieve. When humankind achieves Star Trek society, these debates will seem moronic.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: dmd_kc

                                    I DO NOT LIKE EPAZOTE NEVER HAVE AND NEVER WILL........RANK FLAVOR ESPECIALLY WITH WINE. I HAVE LIVED IN MEXICO FOR 22 YEARS AND THAT IS ONE FLAVOR THAT IS NOT FOR MOST FOODIES IN MY OPINION. Now Hoja Santa that is another story........!!!!!!!!

                                    1. re: wineman3

                                      I've used epazote in chili and it works wonderfully.

                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                        Yes, it does. Great with beans also, but not with beans in chili.

                                  2. Epizote has a pretty bitter flavor. I have never tried it in guacamole, but, to my taste, it wouldn't work as I wouldn't want to impart that flavor profile.

                                    1. Epazote in guacamole is a NO. The very strong flavur of the herb would spoil the flavor of Guack. Epazote is great for:.
                                      Black beans.
                                      Quesadillas ( inside the tortilla and let the cheese melt with a leave of epazote.
                                      Mais. look for the recipe of "Esquites"
                                      There is a delicious herb that can be eaen with guacamole and that is Papalo quelite"
                                      im mexican im a chef