The only green thing that Boris Karloff is known for is the green tufts of fur on The Grinch, or the ghoulish putre that was Frankenstein's skin. But guacamole? That certainly doesn't come to mind.
But the king of horror loved Mexican food. (Karloff frequently worked with Mexican directors.) In an undated newspaper article, the writer extolls the professional brute as a kind, civilized man with a desire for fine food, with guacamole top among his favorites.
Based on the description of guacamole ("an avocado-based sauce … served on a bed of lettuce as a salad or with fried tortilla wedges as an appetizer or simply as a sauce"), we can surmise the article dates to the 1950s or early 1960s, when Tex-Mex cuisine first infiltrated the American populous and avocados became more accessible.
Another key element that dates the article is one particularly hair-raising ingredient: sherry.
Karloff's recipe for guacamole (which the writer reports, "that he makes in a spicy, tantalizing fashion,") includes a generous dose of sherry and omits lime juice and cilantro that we more commonly associate with the tortilla chip's favorite companion.
I Tried Making Frankenstein's Guacamole
So how does it taste? I knew I had to try Frankenstein's guacamole recipe for myself. Would it be too soup-y with the sherry? Would it be sweeter than normal? Here are the results.
Despite the fact that the sherry caused the otherwise verdant guac to instantly oxidize into a gnarly shade of greenish ocher best suited for monster-ooze special effects, the addition of sherry was not as sweet as expected. The guac was still balanced in flavor (cayenne and canned chiles provide substantial heat), but the soupy texture and heinous color (imagine guac left out overnight, uncovered, after a party) were enough to relegate this recipe as a relic of American experimentation with new flavors and cuisines. (No doubt the sherry was added due to the French cooking trends and techniques that were infiltration American kitchens at the time. Thanks, Julia.)
In homage to the master of fright, pull out that bottle of sherry hiding in the back of your pantry and crack open a few avocados. Make Karloff's recipe for guacamole once the last trick-or-treater has left and it's time for your favorite scary movie. Just make sure you eat it in the dark — there's no need to frighten yourself more with that Frankenstein-esque color.
Would you try this frightful guacamole recipe? Let us know in the comments!