Lassuy: A review of the pea guacamole controversy

(Jon Mountjoy/Creative Commons)

July 1 was a monumental day.

Recreational marijuana use was legalized in Oregon. Billy Joel beat Elton John’s record for most performances by a single artist at Madison Square Garden. But these stories pale in comparison to the big news story of the day. America has a new enemy, and it’s banding everyone together. The foe is worse than anyone could have imagined. Militant aliens? No. Terrorist robots? Worse. Pea guacamole.

All across America, people are joining together in protest. People of all races, ages and political views took to the internet to share their outrage.

“Possibly the worst food advice ever,” commented one tweeter, David Saleh Rauf. Another person in the twittersphere took it even further by tweeting, “That’s like adding snot to a donut.”

People took to YouTube to rant about it. YouTube user paulandstorm created a 20 second jingle about just how awful the idea was. Multiple YouTubers posted their own reviews of it. BuzzFeed had a video up the next morning of people trying the horrifying substance for the first time.

By the end of the day, news stations across America were reporting on it. It was featured on ABC, CBS and MSNBC’s PrimeTime coverage.

The offending recipe even caught the eye of politicians, and bridged the political divide. President Obama spoke out on twitter stating, “respect the nyt, but not buying peas in guac. onions, garlic, hot peppers. classic.” On the other side of the political spectrum, Jeb Bush, a Republican presidential candidate, tweeted simply, “You don’t put peas in guacamole.”

Californians and Texans took special offense to the recipe. People living in both states tweeted that the New York Times was “declaring war” on their state, with this insane addition to their treasured dip.

This pressing issue required an immediate culinary action. I took to the kitchen, to decide for myself if the New York Times was really as insane as everyone thought. I followed the exact recipe that the New York Times posted (which was surprisingly complicated and featured an ice bath for the peas), using all of my willpower not to add extra spices or ingredients that I’d add if I were making my own guacamole.

Two burns, an adventure to find a blender and a few onion-y tears later, the guacamole was done. I garnished it just the way it was garnished in the New York Times’ photo, pulled out my favorite tortilla chips and dug in.

I expected my taste buds to react passionately. After all, this had taken over the internet, so it must be awful, or amazing, right? Well, not to me. I could taste the peas, but it really didn’t taste that much different than your average serving of guac. Surprised and a little disappointed, I sought other opinions.

Though I don’t know anyone from Texas here in Eugene, I took the guacamole to someone from California. Surely they would have a more pronounced opinion than I did, with my apparently uncultured Alaskan senses. Once again, this was not the case. The peas were noticeable, but neither terrible nor fantastic.

It happened again and again. Everyone I brought the pea-camole to had the same reaction. My exciting culinary-controversy adventure had come to a disappointingly bland end.

I’ll be honest, I don’t get all the outrage. But I will give the guac props for becoming a common enemy. In a time, when it seems like all you see online are people arguing with each other; it’s almost heartwarming to see so many people from so many different walks of life standing together in defense of their favorite dip.

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