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Guac Off!
By Nathan Myers; photos by Jeremiah Webster
ISBN: 0811865061
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication date: April 2009
Format: Hardcover
List price: $14.95 
Type: Entertaining; Single subject: Guacamole
Sample recipe: Southwestern Guac
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive coffee-table Biblical stature
Competition: outclassed follower in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Variety: too little too much unusual nice mix just right
# of recipes: <50 <100 <200 <300 ≥300
Practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% ≥80%
# of ingredients: ≤4 ≤7 ≤10 ≤12 >12
Ingredient hunt: 7-Eleven airfare required online pantry supermarket
Recipe complexity: too hard simple medium challenging professional
Instructions: inadequate verbose bare-bones full-figured educational
Time conscious: unconscious outright lies white lies realistic honorable
Cooking time: weekend project takes all day takes time ≥30 minutes <30 minutes
Added info: zip overwhelming scant balanced generous
Photos/drawings: none distracting decorative instructive glorious
Recipe results: ≤dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
Nutritional info: none overwhelming hit or miss adequate comprehensive
Format/Ease of Use
Layout: ugh cluttered fine considerate work of art
Legibility: unpleasant challenging tolerable clear brilliant
Production quality: cheesy dubious years of service gift quality stunning
Page numbers: non-existent hard-to-find spotty sufficient every page
Table of contents: AWOL frustrating passable useful excellent
Index quality: none tragic adequate good a treasure
Page flipping: upsetting tedious acceptable rare never
Writer: beginner food writer writing cook personality auteur
Cook: unknown self-taught chef teacher celebrity
Fulfills ambitions: falls short almost there satisfactory exceeds home run
Flavor delivered: sad inconsistent tasty delicious exceptional
Overall tone: sterile trying too hard straightforward best friend mom
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it good very good excellent Ochef Top 100

Comments: If you thought there was only one guacamole, think again. There are countless iterations of the avocado-based dip.

And according to Nathan Myers, people have been involved in guacamole competitions at least since the days of the Aztecs. He and his friends have been holding annual "Guac Offs" since the turn of the millennium, and he thinks you should, too,

The book includes everything you need to know to throw your own guac off (the rules are loosely based on Sun Tzu's Art of War), as well as 30 recipes for guacamoles you may never have dreamed of (many past winners of Myers' contests). Recipes include Classic Guacs (Mango Guac, Garlic Guac, Lemon Guac, Chunky Tomato Guac) Exotic Guacs (Basque Guac, Asian Guac, Artichoke Guac, Cranberry Guac, High Desert Guac, and Guacamole de Poblanos) and Extreme Guacs (Crab Guac, Feta & Shrimp Cocktail Guac, the ultra-spicy Scarface Guac, and the egg-salad- and bacon-infused Breakfast Guac).

Plenty of avocado history and background, along with additional recipes for salsas, chips, and guacamole-appropriate alcoholic beverages, and a fair amount of wit make Guac Off! a good choice for anyone who wants to expand his or her horizons beyond one basic guacamole recipe.


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