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Revisiting Horror Legend Boris Karloff's Guacamole Recipe

The monster movie legend makes a pretty decent-sounding guac, except for one weird ingredient.

Nick Rose

Nick Rose

Photo and screengrab via Wikimedia Commons. 

Boris Karloff's portrayals of Frankenstein's monster in Frankenstein and Imhotep in The Mummy in the early 1930s helped create genre-defining movie monster archetypes.

But Karloff wasn't only ahead of his time on camera; he was also a guacamole enthusiast decades before brunch-crazy Millennials—who probably know him best as the voice of the Grinch (from the 1966 release of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!)—would bring forth a bona fide avocado mania and ensuing shortage of the green-fleshed fruit.

In the spirit of All Hallows' Eve, Random House managing editor and copy chief Benjamin Dreyer dug up a photo of an undated newspaper clipping (estimated to be from the 1950s or 60s) featuring Boris Karloff's very own recipe for guacamole.

Entitled "Boris Karloff Mad About Mexican Food," the short article goes on to explain that while one "might suppose that Karloff's favorite recipe would be compounded of wolfbane and batwings, seasoned with salamander tails" or "an exotic mixture from the soggy moors of Transylvania," the "witty and urbane" actor from England actually preferred making a simple guacamole.

Without a doubt, the strangest thing about "Guacamole Boris Karloff," which overall doesn't sound half bad, is the two teaspoons of sherry. Including wine or sherry in the Mexican avocado dip not only breaks with tradition, but more importantly, doesn't sound very appetizing. Other than that, it's a pretty run-of-the-mill guac recipe, though it does omit cilantro and refers to the dip as a "sauce."

The recipe first made the rounds on film and food blogs in 2013, and as LA Taco points out, Karloff did make a string of Mexican horror movies in the late 60s. This may not conclusively explain why a British thespian born in 1887 was into guacamole and chips, especially since he died shortly after making those films, but Karloff was certainly ahead of the curve when it came to embracing avocados as an ingredient.

According to California Avocados, "25 different varieties of avocados were being commercially packed and shipped in California" but "large-scale industry expansion occurred in the late 1970s," years after Karloff's death, though his legacy now lives on through his movies, and rightfully through Guacamole Boris Karloff.