Holy Guacamole!

Simplicity has rarely tasted so good.

The Aztecs made great guacamole. Well, actually, it was ahuacamolli—literally, "avocado mixture"—which they concocted by tossing buttery, nutty chunks of avocado with green chiles, tomatoes, and fresh local herbs. Today, most guacamoles also include minced white onion and cilantro, though some Mexican cooks add tomatillos or even finely sliced zucchini. For the most part, guacamole has remained simple in its homeland, where it's generally served as a garnish for other dishes—not as an appetizer with chips. Our favorite guacamole (in America at any rate) is that created by Josefina Howard at her Rosa Mexicano restaurant in New York City. Like the Aztecs, Howard mixes her guacamole in a _molcajete _(mortar) made of volcanic stone, and sticks to a simple recipe. Additional ingredients, she says, would just muddle it up.

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