If you read my post from yesterday, you know Carpinteria hosted the 23rd annual California Avocado Festival this weekend. Why a little laid back beach town gets to host the state’s largest avocado event? Well, besides its phenomenal location and beauty, this county produces the largest amount of avocados in the nation. And in my honest opinion, the tastiest ones too. So it seems fitting one of the most popular events at the festival is the Best Guacamole Contest, which I entered this afternoon.
Yep, I won it! I could hardly believe it myself. I’ve never entered any food contests, and this being my first, I figured I had little chance at all. These cooking/baking/food contests are serious business folks. I guess it was a good thing I didn’t know all of this before I decided to sign up, because I’m pretty sure I could have found an excuse not to enter. But I just didn’t think about it all that much, and it paid off!
See? Sometimes not thinking everything to death can be a good thing. I’m going to have to repeat that last sentence to myself more often.
It was a very exciting afternoon to say the least. My loving husband (and biggest fan of my guacamole) was in attendance along with my Mom. We dropped off my entry and had about an hour before the judging began, so we walked around the festival snapping great food shots and sampling some good ‘festival foods’. I always get a kick out of the food choices at festivals, but especially food festivals, because they are so random. Now again, this is the largest avocado festival around, so the majority of food booths focus on the green fruit, but I also loved how you could get a Funnel Cake, a Churro and a Pulled Pork Sandwich, all within 10 feet of each other.
I told you I’m not a food snob. I love it all. Foie, caviar, absolutely. But put a plate of chile cheese fries in front on me and back away. Slowly.
After nibbling through the fair, we made it back to the judging stage and grabbed the last few empty seats. We enjoyed the auction of avocado trees, and awards handed out for the Festival’s largest avocado (a hefty 3.3 pounds).
The 7 judges sampled the entries, judging for taste, texture and presentation. After a short hour, the tallies were in and the results were announced. 3rd and 2nd place announcements were made; a young gal new to Carpinteria won 3rd, and a sister team took 2nd. I was already planning in my head where we were going to have lunch, figuring the event was nearly over, when the announcement came through for the winner.
Emcee: “And the winner of the 23rd Annual California Avocado Festival for Best Guacamole Is….”
Me (in my head): “Maybe Delgado’s for lunch. Or Zookers. No, definitely Delgados. I need chile…”
Me: “Shut up!”
I got a great big blue ribbon. I may put it under my pillow tonight to keep it close. And a gorgeous hand crafted bowl, big enough to serve 2 gallons of guacamole at my next party. You’re all invited.
I’ll post the winning recipe for you, but honestly, it’s just so simple I really can’t believe I won with only 5 ingredients. But then again, when you live in the avocado capital of the nation, it’s hard to make a loser batch.