Guacamole Showdown: We Tested 7 Kinds and Here’s Our Favorite

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In the spirit of Football season, we decided to do a little taste testing here in the Cookpanion office! I’m a big guacamole fan (I’m frankly shocked by anyone who isn’t), but I’m often skeptical of the many pre-packaged options at the grocery store. Well, we’re here today to set things straight. We tried out seven different brands, many of which are available at supermarkets across the country, in a “blind” tasting to figure out just which brands have nailed this classic dip.

Methodology: The seven competing guac varieties were gathered from three grocery stores here in Seattle: Safeway, QFC, and Kress Supermarket. Each package was labeled with a letter (A-F), and seven clear plastic cups were marked with corresponding letters. The guacamole was then scooped into its respective cup, and the taste testers (the Cookpanion staff) were sent to work! Each person was given a survey where they were asked to rank the dips in order from best to worst. Testers were also asked to note why they selected their top and bottom choices. We used Juanita chips as our vehicle, which are (in my opinion) the perfect crispy-crunchy, classic tortilla chip.

Guac10

Guac7

Guac12

Guac5

Once the surveys had been collected, I tallied the votes, and (drumroll please) here are the results!


1st Place: Mary’s Harvest Fresh Guacamole

Price: $4.49 at Kress Supermarket
Ingredients: Guacamole (hass avocado, tomatillo, onion, jalapeño pepper, salt, cilantro, garlic), tomatoes, yellow onion, jalapeño pepper, lime juice, cilantro, salt, pepper, cumin
Nutritional Breakdown: One two-tablespoon serving contains 40 calories, 3.5 g fat, 4 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, and 1 g protein
Our Thoughts: Our team loved the addition of fresh tomatoes in this classic guacamole, and also commented that it had a pleasant spice balance and a nice tang.

2nd Place: Wholly Guacamole, Classic

Price: $3.49 at Safeway
Ingredients: Hass avocado, jalapeño puree (white vinegar, jalapeño peppers, salt) dehydrated onion, salt, granulated garlic
Nutritional Breakdown: One two-tablespoon serving contains 60 calories, 5 g fat, 3 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 0 g sugar, and 1 g protein
Our Thoughts: This one was my personal favorite. It is simple, with big chunks of perfectly-ripe avocado and a wonderful oniony flavor that compliments the avocado without overpowering it. Unfortunately this guac browned relatively quickly, but that speaks to its purist recipe and lack of added preservatives (which is a-ok in my mind!).

3rd Place: Sabra Classic Guacamole 

Price: $3.99 at Safeway
Ingredients:
 Hass avocado, onion, tomato, jalapeño, cilantro, salt, garlic, lime juice concentrate, dehydrated onion, ascorbic acid (added to maintain freshness)
Nutritional Breakdown: One two-tablespoon serving contains 45 calories, 4 g fat, 3 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 0 g sugar, and 1 g protein
Our Thoughts: This was another variety that contained fresh tomato as well as fresh cilantro, both of which added flavor, texture, and an overall well-rounded quality to the guac. I noted that this one had a slightly deeper, earthier flavor than the other contenders.

4th Place: Peakfection Traditional Guacamole by Kroger

Price: $3.99 at QFC
Ingredients: Avocado, dehydrated onion, salt, jalapeño puree (water, jalapeño peppers, salt), dehydrated garlic, white pepper
Nutritional Breakdown: One two-tablespoon serving contains 60 calories, 5 g fat, 3 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 0 g sugar, and 1 g protein
Our Thoughts: This guac was quite smooth, while still containing visible, if not soft, chunks of avocado. The flavor was mild, and the spices subtle.

5th Place: Marcela Valladolid Guacamole by Safeway

Price: $3.49 at Safeway
Ingredients: Hass avocado, jalapeño puree (white vinegar, jalapeño pepper, salt), onion, lime juice, salt
Nutritional Breakdown: One two-tablespoon serving contains 60 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, and 1 g protein
Our Thoughts: This one was plain ‘n simple, not necessarily in a bad way, but it didn’t elicit “wow!” responses.

6th Place: Yucatan Organic Guacamole

Price: $3.49 at Safeway
Ingredients: Organic hass avocados, sea salt, organic onion, organic garlic powder, organic sugar, ascorbic acid (vitamin c), xanthan gum, organic jalapeño peppers, citric acid
Nutritional Breakdown: One two-tablespoon serving contains 50 calories, 4.5 g fat, 2.5 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, .5 g sugar, and 0 g protein
Our Thoughts: Our team was generally off-put by this variety, which was quite acidic (sour) and had a strange, unnatural taste. Despite what looked like real avocado chunks, the texture was entirely homogenous.

7th Place: Calavo Guacamole, Authentic Recipe

Price: $3.59 at Kress Supermarket
Ingredients: Hass avocado, tomatillo, onion, jalapeño pepper, salt, cilantro, garlic
Nutritional Breakdown: One two-tablespoon serving contains 40 calories, 4 g fat, 2.5 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, .5 g sugar, and 1 g protein
Our Thoughts: This variety came in last due to its overly smooth texture, its artificial flavor, and its unpleasant aftertaste.

Well, there you have it! Lucky for us, there are a huge variety of guacamole products on the market, many of which we discovered aren’t half bad! Of course, for the purists, homemade guac is always the way to go, but when the game starts in half an hour and you suddenly find yourself with a crowd of hungry fans to feed, there’s no shame in letting someone else do some of the hard work for you!

Stay tuned for next week’s post, and until then, happy cooking!

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