Guasacaca is Venezuela's unique version of guacamole. It's easy to make, healthy, vibrant, fresh and bursting with delicious flavor!
It's funny, just a little over a week ago, I didn't have any idea what guasacaca was. That all changed when we had a meeting at church one evening last week. We decided to grab a bite to eat on the run before the meeting. Scott suggested a little Venezuelan restaurant near our church.
Venezuelan cuisine has lots of delicious specialties and one of them is arepas. Arepas are small savory corn cakes that are prepared with a variety of fillings and toppings. They are the equivalent of tortillas in Mexico and bread in Italy. In addition to Venezuela, arepas are also popular in Columbia, Ecuador and Panama.
Another favorite is guasacaca. Yes, it's a bit of a tongue twister! It's pronounced like this. I've done a little research on this Venezuelan guacamole and it turns out there are a zillion different versions of it. Probably as many as there are cooks in Venezuela! You'll often find it at Venezuelan restaurants in plastic bottles at each table. This is a thinner rendition, designed as a condiment to drizzle over the various entrees.
A delicious new discovery
Our little restaurant specializes in arepas with a variety of delicious fillings and toppings. As I was standing in line, deciding whether to order a chicken, pork or beef arepa, I noticed one of the topping options was guasacaca. I read the description and it sounded wonderful, similar to guacamole, but different at the same time. I made sure to include it in our order.
When our meal arrived, I fell in love with the fresh, vibrant tasting avocado concoction. The rest of the story is history. If you've been following The Café for very long you know I love to recreate delicious foods we discover when dining out. In fact, the next morning I checked a few guasacaca recipes online, had Scott pick up avocados for me and I went to work putting together my own version.
Most of the online versions called for the same ingredients, avocados, cilantro, parsley, jalapeño, green pepper, garlic, vinegar, lime juice and olive oil. The crazy thing is that most of the recipes had a LOT of olive oil in their versions, anywhere from 6 tablespoons to one cup! I decided to try making my guasacaca with minimal olive oil (1 tablespoon) and we were super happy with the results. You definitely don't need more than a splash of olive oil to make a fabulous guasacaca!
Guasacaca is super easy to put together. Just throw all the ingredients in the food processor and give it a whirl. If you want it a little chunkier, press the pulse button on and off till it's just right.
If you like guacamole, I think you'll love guasacaca. They are both delicious, but uniquely different. It's definitely worth having the two recipes in your arsenal to keep things fresh and vibrant!
What's the difference between guasacaca and guacamole?
Although there are many similarities, there are a few distinct differences;
- Guasacaca is usually smoother than guacamole.
- While guacamole sometimes has a bit of chopped cilantro, guasacaca has LOTS of fresh cilantro and fresh parsley.
- Guasacaca recipes generally include vinegar which classic guacamole does not. I prefer a higher ration of fresh lime juice and just a splash of vinegar but many guasacaca recipes call for more vinegar than lime juice.
- Guasca also includes green pepper along with the typical jalapeño called for in guacamole.
Café Tips for making Guasacaca
- Guasacaca is delicious as a dip for chips. It's also wonderful served on top of grilled chicken, shrimp, pork, etc.
- Try guasacaca as a delicious sandwich spread, it adds lots of pretty pizzaz and fresh flavor!
- Guasacaca can also be transformed into a wonderful salad dressing. Just add more lime juice and oil, to taste.
- Because of the fresh lime juice and vinegar, guasacaca will keep its vibrant green for 2-3 days. Keep it refrigerated in an airtight container.
- I use my Cuisinart food processor to make this guasacaca. I love this little kitchen workhorse and keep it on my counter for quick access. It's super sturdy - like they used to make food processors! I've had mine for several years and was surprised to see the price has come DOWN since I bought it. If you're in the market for a food processor, this one's a winner!
- 2 large ripe avocados seeded (I use Haas)
- ½ medium onion halved
- 1 small green or yellow bell pepper seeded and quartered
- 1-2 medium jalapeño stemmed and seeded
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- 1 cup fresh cilantro tightly packed
- ½ cup fresh parsley tightly packed
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoon fresh lime juice or more
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients except olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Process until fairly smooth. (If you prefer a chunkier texture, use the pulse button until desired consistency is achieved.)
Transfer to a bowl and add olive oil. Stir until oil is completely incorporated.
Taste and add more salt, pepper, lime juice or vinegar, if desired.