Open letter to California Avocado Festival Board:
The 29th California Avocado Festival is upon us. The good reputation of the AvoFest has spread beyond our stretch of American Riviera, attracting not a few visitors from countries as distant as those making up the Mediterranean original, most of whom had heard of the festival before they boarded SoCal cruise ships. We in Carpinteria are on the map, and it’s not just our “Safest Beach in the World” reputation that serves us!
As a guacamole maker of some little reputation, I’m particularly anxious to sample contest winners. Can we not publish the recipes of, say, the top two or three contestants each year and roll contest winners around to the following year’s Big Guacamole Tent for general tasting access? I understand the State of California has a keen interest in the safety of open-air food sales, but a recipe comprised of off-market avocados and garlic salt mashed into a “spread” — sans tomatoes, onions, and peppers because of concerns with food temperature — is not the rallying cry our out-of-town visitors are expecting or deserve. “Glop!” should never be confused with “Guac!”
With Carpinteria’s two main streets populated with eateries and breweries, it shouldn’t take much encouragement to send visitors patrolling for new and unique avocado dishes and drinks. Avocado ice cream has established itself in the last few years and I know of at least one avocado-infused beer on the local scene. A booklet of discount coupons would advertise the dishes and serve as one more fund raiser together with sales of a future recipe book a la Gilroy’s The Complete Garlic Lovers Cookbook.
How about combining contest-winning recipes with winning poster designs from out of the past. With these thoughts, Viva Los Cados!