Holy Guaca-Moly, the best way to eat avocado

George Bamber, who died January 2017, could always be found manning his Holy Guaca-Moly booth at the Avocado Festival. Courtesy photo
Plenty of guacamole is served with tortilla chips to guests who attend the Avocado Festival. Shane Gibson photos

Perhaps the most popular way to eat avocados is in guacamole, a dish first created by the Aztecs in the area now known as Mexico. Guacamole is featured on the menu for many events, especially Super Bowl Sunday and Cinco de Mayo.

To make this dish, avocados are peeled, cut in half, pitted and chopped, then mashed with tomatoes, onion, garlic, lemon or lime juice, chili or cayenne pepper, cilantro or basil, and jalapeno for those who like it hot.

Fallbrook resident George Bamber was known for his guacamole, which he sold at events all over Southern California besides Fallbrook’s annual Avocado Festival for 30 years.

In a Village News article published April 19, 2007, Bamber talked about how he came up with a name for his avocado dish. He said he had first-time guacamole buyers who would take their samples every year. Over the years, he discovered that people who had no intention of buying guacamole would usually taste it. “Bamber said these people usually walk away, then return chewing and say, ‘I’ve gotta buy some of that.'”

Those samples raised his sales about 30 percent, and the buyers’ comments helped develop the company’s name. “When people had the samples, they would taste it and say, ‘God, is that good!’” recalled Bamber. His sense of humor came up with the trademark name: Holy Guaca-Moly.

By 2007, Holy Guaca-Moly had won more than 20 major awards. According to the article, Bamber believed there were three reasons why his guacamole is such a huge hit:

  1. It is kept chunky in texture, never pureed.
  2. Only Haas avocados are used.
  3. Plastic wrap, rather than lemon, is used to keep the guacamole from turning brown. The plastic is placed directly on the guacamole’s surface to prevent oxidation.

The article went on to say “Being an expert in avocados and guacamole, Bamber observed that what makes great guacamole is not the ripeness of the fruit but rather the oil content. He maintains that the highest oil content is found in the Haas avocado.”

Bamber was a part the Fallbrook Avocado Festival since the second year of its inception until he died last January. A memorial bench will be installed in his honor at Main Avenue and Fig Street later this year. That is where the original Holy Guaca-Moly booth is always located; there are now also Holy Guaca-Moly booths at the north and south ends of the festival each year.

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