Thank goodness for Twitter-powered outrage. How else would we know just how horribly offensive the combination of peas and avocados is?
The apparently misguided pairing was exposed for all its perversity recently, when The New York Times urged the world to add peas — peas, I tell you! — to guacamole. Take a moment with that.
OK, so Twitter outrage isn’t a great barometer. But kerfuff the netizens it certainly did. Even President Barack Obama joined the online cacophony, tweeting out: “respect the nyt, but not buying peas in guac.”
And The Times was taking heat for a recipe that wasn’t even its own. That distasteful honor belongs to Jean-Georges Vongerichten and the chef de cuisine of his ABC Cocina restaurant in New York City, Ian Coogan.
I asked around: Any other guacamole add-ins somehow deserving of being vilified? Oh, indeed. And in the interest of efficiency of flame wars, I’ve included the chefs’ Twitter user names.
“I’m a big fan of the addition of crunchy and salty ‘chapulines,’ traditional to Oaxacan cooking … Yep. Roasted spicy grasshoppers!!!” Mario Batali (@MarioBatali) said via email.
Rick Bayless arguably has a bit more skin in this game. He even wrote an entire book dedicated to unusual guacamoles, “Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks.”
“In that book, the versions I dream about are the one with toasted walnuts and pomegranate seeds, the one with brown butter, porcini and crab (!!), and the one with strawberries and habanero,” Bayless (@Rick—Bayless) said in an email.
But if you thought peas and their appendages were outrageous, Ludo Lefebvre can top it. Sure, the Los Angeles restaurateur and judge on ABC’s “The Taste” has dabbled with what he calls “peamole.” But the recipe that made it into his cookbook, “LudoBites,” actually contains neither peas nor avocados. He calls it “Brocamole.” Just go ahead and tease that one out.
But at least one chef took the opportunity to elevate the argument to a whole different level and remind us of our roots as Americans.
“I am touched by the traditionalist adherence of our president, but this is one issue that I feel strongly about. Add whatever you want to your guac,” said Hugh Acheson (@HughAcheson), a restaurateur and judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef.” “This is the land of the free and the home of the culinarily brave. I just want people to cook from scratch.”