Do I live in an ethanol bubble? Yes I do, for another day or so.
But I’m coming up for air for long enough to give the finger to Kraft, the world’s largest branded food conglomerate, for ripping off and desecrating one of the world’s greatest food items.
Kraft’s heinous Guacamole Dip contains about 2 percent avocado, which is a little like marketing a Martini with 2 percent gin and the rest, well, corn liquor (ethanol).
A woman in California is suing Kraft, arguing that the “guacamole” claim fraudulently promised an avocado-based concoction, and instead delivered, well, industrial goo designed to look avocado-y.
Does she have a case?
Here is a guacamole recipe from the great Diana Kennedy, an authority on Mexican cuisine:
I N G R E D I E N T S
3 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
4 chiles serranos
2 rounded tablespoons cilantro
scant 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 large avocados
2/3 cup tomatoes, finely chopped, not peeled
2 tablespoons white onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoons heaped, finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped tomatoes
I N S T R U C T I O N S
If possible use a molcajete [mortar and pestle made of lava stone] to prepare your guacamole. Grind the onion, fresh chiles, cilantro, and salt to a rough paste. Cut the avocados in half, remove pits (do not discard), and scoop out the flesh with a wooden spoon. Mash the flesh roughly into the chile mixture, turning the mixture over so that the seasoning is well distributed.
Stir in the chopped tomato, and sprinkle the top of the guacamole with the extra onion, cilantro, and tomato.
Place the pits back into it for a nice effect and serve immediately or within 15 minutes in the molcajete. If you are using a blender, blend the base, turn it into a dish, and continue as a above.
Serve – In the US it is common to serve guacamole with tortilla chips. However, in Mexico, the proper way to serve guacamole is inside a fresh, warm, corn tortilla.
This is one of the most sublime things one can put in one’s mouth, a real treasure of world cuisine.
And here is what Kraft is peddling:
WATER, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED COCONUT AND SOYBEAN OIL, CORN SYRUP, WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE (FROM MILK), FOOD STARCH MODIFIED, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF POTATOES, SALT, AVOCADO, DEFATTED SOY FLOUR, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, TOMATOES, SODIUM CASEINATE, VINEGAR, LACTIC ACID, ONIONS, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, GELATIN, XANTHAN GUM, CAROB BEAN GUM, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, SPICE, WITH SODIUM BENZOATE AND POTASSIUM SORBATE AS PRESERVATIVES, GARLIC, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, CITRIC ACID, YELLOW 6, YELLOW 5, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BLUE 1, ARTIFICIAL COLOR.
How can I say this? No. No. NO! If one could roar like a lion in print, now would be the time. (“I have not art to reckon my groans.” — Nabokov, Ada, or Ardor)
Part of me believes this case should be criminal and not civil. What about intellectual property? How can this conglomerate swoop in and rip off the cultural heritage of a people, pump a bunch of hydrogenated oil and food coloring into a plastic container, make a bunch of cash, and get away with it?
Ahem. Back to ethanol.