Guacamole à l’Obama


It’s been a while since I’ve dedicated a recipe to our Commander-in-Chief. I figured it’s good timing, with the 4th of July upon us. But more importantly, because President Obama took a moment to Tweet about his guacamole persuasions on Wednesday.


This was during a Twitter chat where Obama invited questions about healthcare with the hashtag #AskPOTUS, a very noble gesture. Then a Twitter user named @JGreenDC digressed by asking the President what he thought about putting peas in guacamole, à la a recent New York Times recipe by Melissa Clark. To which Obama responded as above.

It was an innocuous-seeming comment, perhaps a safe call in some respects. But I dare say he wasn’t really counting on the herds of foodie Twitter users who might call him out on such a partisan step—or if he did, he underestimated us. Because all I could think about when I saw his Tweet was, okay, okay… WHAT? Garlic? This was not necessary in any “classic” guacamole I’ve seen or heard of.

Minutes after he Tweeted this formula, I responded with, “Respect to you, but garlic?” (I happened to see the Tweet immediately.) Why did he voice—with such limitations as 140 characters no less—this very un-classic, peripheral, optional ingredient? (And what about lime or cilantro and chopped tomatoes if we’re going there?)

Something here does not belong.

I’m not sure how the President intended garlic to be incorporated in his vision of guacamole. But I can only presume that it should be very finely minced, so as to become nearly invisible in its consistency, as a flavor note. Grating the garlic would be a better way to achieve this.

I added lime, as well as salt and pepper to Obama’s Tweeted recipe. Because seasoning is a must. (I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and that these additions were to be taken for granted.) I finely chopped a seeded jalapeno for that “hot peppers” part. And red onions to satisfy Mr. President.

Grating garlic with a microplane.

And then I tasted it. I immediately tasted the garlic—sharp, bracing, freshly grated garlic is hard to miss—but it was kind of good. It worked alright, if you don’t mind garlic, that is. But I’ll be bringing this Presidential guacamole to my friend’s 4th of July potluck tomorrow, to put it to the real test: the people. Democracy is a beautiful thing.

Garlic in guacamole is a little outside the box. But Obama is the kind of President who is equally so, I think. He’s African American, for one—and he’s mixed-race (which might sound superfluous to mention for some, but is pretty empowering to me). So I’ll give him props for bringing his own twist to an otherwise “classic” dip. Besides, it’s not like he ever claimed to be our Commander-in-Chef.

Guacamole a l’Obama
(makes about 1 pint)

2 ripe avocados
1 lime
about 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Half the avocado and remove the pit by stabbing with the sharp side of a knife and pulling it out. Quarter the pieces, then peel off the skins. Combine in a bowl with juice from the lime, and mash with a fork until big chunks have broken down.

Stir in the onion, pepper, grated garlic, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with chips.

4 Responses

  1. Michael Manning

    I always put garlic in… hmmmm.

  2. Rosy

    Garlic is better than peas!

  3. Mary Frances

    Ha! Don’t think I’ve tried garlic in guac before. Sounds good!

  4. Lisa

    My mom used to rub the bowl with garlic but after tasting a friend’s garlic loaded guac 20 years ago i bit the bullet snd started adding it to mine. I use one small clove finely chopped to 2 avocados. Also lemon rather than lime, lots of chopped cilantro, about a tablespoon of finely chopped vidalia or red onion, the chopped meat and skin of a seeded plum tomato or a few grape tomatoes, a chopped seeded fresh jalapeno or a few slices of jarred, salt and pepper. If jalapenos not available a dash of jalapeno hot sauce (trader joe’s is goid) or tabasco. Fork mash- don’t overchop the avocados. No disrespect to the prez but my guac always draws raves. In a guac emergency when ripe acocados are not available i have “doctored” the storebought ones with fresh onion, cilantro, and tomato to provide freshness and crunch. Its not ideal as a stand alone guac but for tacos or fajitas its fine,

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