Last Sunday, five of Mexico’s most ubiquitous agricultural products were brought together in a hamlet tucked into the hills 30 minutes south of Lake Chapala to create a comically outsized quantity – one which they hoped would gain entrance into the leger of the Guinness Book of World Records – of one of the country’s most ubiquitous culinary exports, guacamole.
The gustatory endeavor took place in the plaza of Concepcion de Buenos Aires from 10 to 11 a.m. and involved the participation of 1,550 people, whose combined labor eventually created a monumental batch of guacamole weighing in at 2,980 kilos (6,569 pounds), breaking the previous record set in 2015 by the state of Michoacán.
While the event’s tenor was suitably effervescent, it was girded with a larger significance by the presence of Jalisco Governor Aristoteles Sandoval. In a speech following the announcement of the new record, Sandoval underlined rather bluntly the event’s political/economical subtext.
“From here in Concepcion de Buenos Aires,” declared Sandoval, “we say to the world – at a time when NAFTA is being re-negotiated – that we will defend the dignity of the Mexican people against anything that can be thrown at us, and we will continue to be competitive, especially vis-à-vis the amazing product that is the avocado.”
In the last few years, avocados have become one of Concepcion de Buenos Aires’ main agricultural assets; the municipality contributed all of the 25,200 pieces of the fruit used in the day’s work. However, four other municipalities scattered around the topographically and ecologically diverse landscape of Jalisco threw their agricultural antes into the kitty: to the south and west, respectively, Tamazula de Gordiano and San Gabriel sent 500 kilos of jitomates (roma tomatoes); San Martin Hidalgo to the northwest contributed 150 kilos of onion; Tizapan El Alto, a town on the south shore of Lake Chapala, gave of Concepcion a bountiful 90 kilos of cilantro.
Another personage adding thematic weight to the proceedings was Ricardo Zuñiga, president of the Avocado Growers Association, who boasted avocados have completely replaced manual labor as Concepcion de Buenos Aires’ chief export to the United States.
Sandoval was quick to add his own signature braggadocio to Zuñiga’s claim.
“In four years, Jalisco’s avocado production has gone from 40,000 tons a year to 146,000 tons a year, which we currently export to 25 countries worldwide, up from six countries four years ago. Our product is found all over the world!”