$12 Guac? Yes, $12 Guac

In New York, Rebecca Flint Marx explores why guacamole is so expensive, and discovers that maybe it isn’t so expensive after all. In fact, maybe those of us who scoff at $12 guac are ACTUALLY just racist and terrible: “Part of our expectation that guacamole is expensive may also come down to the pervasive and unfair assumption that, as [Empellón’s Alex Stupak] says, ‘anything Mexican should be cheap.’ The same diners who will fork over $23 for eggs Benedict or $40 for a bottle of wine that retails for $10, kvetch at the notion of paying more than $3 for a taco. As [La Newyorkina owner Fany Gerson] points out, ‘people have no problem paying $30 for a bowl of pasta, but if you go to a Mexican restaurant and they ask for $30 for mole enchiladas, then people [think] because it’s from Mexico it should be less.’”

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25 Comments / Post A Comment

deepomega (#22)

Why would you bother buying guacamole in New York? Might as well just eat green paste.

WHO HAS NO PROBLEM WITH PAYING $30 FOR A BOWL OF PASTA?

littleoaks (#1,801)

@Reginal T. Squirge Racists, apparently.

ThatJenn (#916)

@Reginal T. Squirge Yeah, I wouldn’t pay any of these prices, but this is why I don’t live anywhere cool.

But that said, I see the general point – but I think what’s weird is that adding guac usually adds a really significant percentage to the price of a meal. It’s not so much about the dollar amount as about the weird imbalance there. Sure, I expect adding shrimp to a meal will multiply the cost by 1.5 to 2, but I’m always surprised when guac does the same.

deepomega (#22)

@ThatJenn Why? We all call avocados “land shrimps” don’t we?

Last weekend I was trying to decide whether I should buy avocadoes and make guacamole myself, or just get the store bought stuff. Now I should note that I have never bought guacamole before and have only ever made it myself, but I was feeling super lazy and cheap. And I think buying it store bought was cheaper? The avocadoes were $2 each and the guac container was $4.50. To be honest, they probably would have come out to the same price.

It was pretty good guacamole actually, even though it had cilantro in it.

@redheaded&crazy it has to have cilantro to be true guacamole! also, once I went to the store determined to only buy $100 pesos worth of things, but it was close to 200 and I was like WHAT? and then I got home and realized that they charged me with 3 avocados (but they also packed them, so I ate lots of salads that week and that was that)

@MaríaJosé E.H.@twitter what i meant by thad anecdote is that avocados can be crazy expensive when not in season, even in México.. THE END.

@MaríaJosé E.H.@twitter I normally hate the taste of cilantro! I’m perfectly content to have fake guacamole if that’s the case.

@redheaded&crazy haha, fair enough. I hate spicy guacamole, I’m a mexican who doesn’t eat hot sauce.

Lily Rowan (#70)

@MaríaJosé E.H.@twitter Isn’t guacamole supposed to be the antidote to the other spice stuff on the plate?

Whatever, just give me radishes and a lime.

E$ (#1,636)

Once in a while, I will happily pay $12 for one of those stone things of guacamole to share (breaking: Google tells me it’s a molcajete!) The last time I made it, I’m fairly sure it cost me a similar amount. The other times, I just don’t order it.

I would like to think that deeming expensive restaurants “not worth it for that price” doesn’t make me racist toward whatever culture they come from. To take two of the restaurants listed in the article, I find Dos Caminos way overrated in terms of price and quality, but love Fonda and recommend it to everyone. (But maybe I’m being defensive because this is true?? Oh, help!)

In conclusion, I am hungry now.

@E$ Please tell me your search terms were “guacamole stone thing”.

E$ (#1,636)

@Kate Dollarhyde@twitter Pretty close! But Google knew just what I wanted.

For lunch I had a gigantic burrito from a burrito stand near by office that’s not a food truck, but an actual stand on the sidewalk that’s been there for 15 years and looks it, oh and the guy in there is white. Anyway I think he forgot to charge me for guacamole, does that make me racist or not?

Also I’m pretty sure if I were Mexican I would loudly protest the infiltration of fine dining dickbaggery into my national cuisine. I mean, I’m like 1/64th Italian and I would never, ever pay for someone else to make me marinara sauce in any form, and I think that’s at least partly because of the extinction of the reasonably-priced Italian-American red sauce restaurant. Now even if I wanted to go buy a bowl of pasta in a restaurant, there’s a possibility I might be thought of as racist by a guy who wants to charge $12 for a condiment. Plus, I’ve paid $30 for chicken and waffles before and it’s not like you can’t still get cheap soul food, so it’s not, like, an either-or thing.

Anyway this was an interesting article, the restaurant business stuff. Also I’ve been employed as a full-time prep guy whose only job was to make the soups, salads, and side dishes that CAME FREE WITH EVERY ENTREE so shut up, restaurants.

@stuffisthings the thing is, us mexicans have too many things to protest already! and we can’t escape from fine dining dickbaggery: for our christmas office lunch, we went to a fancy place downtown Mexico City, and I was kind of shocked because my boss ate a $200 pesos plate of cochinita, a dish from my hometown that you traditionally buy from a food truck and should be like, 20 pesos for a “torta”.

@MaríaJosé E.H.@twitter Ooh this makes me wonder, when they sell expensive versions of “traditional” foods in Mexico, do they try to make it more fancy by adding foie gras or truffles or whatever, like Americans do when they’re trying to charge $30 for a hamburger, or are they just like “Here you go, that’ll be $200, you can afford it”?

@stuffisthings it’s usually the second one! you pay more because you are eating at a fancier place and they do some weird combinations with traditional ingredients (that day I had jamaica enchiladas… meh. I rather have some really good normal ones)

chic noir (#713)

Oh how I hate how the word racist is thrown about so carelessly.

sea ermine (#122)

Um, maybe it’s because avocados cost a dollar a piece and 2 of them gets you the same amount of guac as a $6 container?

Honestly though? The main reason I started making it myself is because my Mexican boyfriend thinks the store bought kind is too expensive and not very tasty

@seaermine He sounds racist.

@seaermine same here. I find that store bought guac has a weird sour after taste. Besides, guac is one of those instant foods that you should consume within the hour before it oxidizes so buying containers of it is like buying containers of old meat.

lizard (#2,615)

its literally just mushed up avocados. thats why we are mad. not because we are racist. jeez thats almost offensive

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