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Amy Shuster is in Fallbrook, CA loading up on guac and all other things avo at the annual Fallbrook Avocado Festival.
- Hey guys, I'm Amy Shuster and I'm super excited to be at the 30th annual Fallbrook, California Avocado Festival! You ready to get your avocado on? I know I am! Come with me to discover festivals big and small from all across the globe. Where people indulge their senses in a celebration of local treats and time honored traditions. You with me? Let's do it! I'm here in Fallbrook, California, just north of San Diego, to head to one of the most popular avocado festivals in all of North America. This charming small town food festival has been celebrating its most treasured fruit for the past 30 years and I'm here to taste the best avocado dishes they have to offer. But first, I'm getting a lesson on how avocados are harvested.
- [Male guide] In California we always have fruit on the tree.
- [Amy] It's just constantly going.
- [Male Guide] It's constantly going.
- [Amy] I'm meeting up with Avocado expert Charlie Wolf. He's been managing avocado groves for over 38 years. And it looks like Charlie's gonna let me grab a few straight from the vine. Seems simple enough to me. So we ready to pick some avocados?
- We really don't pick avocados, we actually cut them off the tree.
- They'll need to be cut here. Oh, look out.
- And then cut again. Then he carries the bag over to a bin and releases these clips.
- And lets them all fall out out of the bag.
- And pulls the bag off of the fruit.
- Okay, got it all wrong.
- Then, get a pull and ladder to get the fruit you can't reach.
- Okay. So you want to do that?
- Yeah, sure. Let's do it.
- Lets go.
- Wait a minute, is it too late to say I'm scared of heights? So I have to climb up and hold the pole.
- Carry the pole with you.
- And carry, okay. Lets see what happens. Safety first, right?
- It'll wobble a bit, but don't worry.
- Oh my God! I never thought it would be possible that an avocado could be the end of me. How about I just wait for them to fall to the ground? I get it. Where are they? Where are they? There's one, oh my god. Come in.
- You have to pull the roap, Amy.
- Pull the roap? Oh there's a roap, I didn't even see the roap. Alright guys this is way harder than it looks. I got one!
- [Charlie] Alright, good job.
- Oh my god, that's a lot of coordination involved. I'm ready to come down. Sorry Charlie, but avocado harvesting is not for me. Now it's time for me to find my stomach again and hightail it to the Avocado Fest. The town of Fallbrook is definitely family friendly, so if I'm gonna enjoy this festival, I gotta bring out the kid in me. And no kid can start the day on an empty stomach. Hello!
- Hi there.
- Hey, I want to try your famous fried avocado. So these bad boys are the talk of the fest, they are deep fried avocado wedges with sriracha, mayo, and a sweet glaze. Oh yeah, that's tasty. This is sweet and it's salty and it's a little bit spicy, but you still get that flavor of a Fallbrook avocado. I love it. Now that I'm fueled up, it is time for some fun. I was definitely the kid who liked to play with their food and always got into trouble. So, I'm loving this best dressed avocado. Me and my inner child are gonna kil it. There's three categories I can submit my masterpiece to: funniest, weirdest, and prettiest. I think it's obvious which one I'm entering. Is this where I sign up?
- This is where you sign up, this is the place.
- Alright, I think I'm going for prettiest.
- You're gonna be in the prettiest, okay, then I need you to fill this out if you could.
- Name, Afrocado. What's the age range I'm competing against?
- Age range now is about six to thirteen.
- 28. No pressure, Amy. Alright girl, high five! You got this! While I wait for this contest to start, I've gotta prepare for another. Lucky for me, I'm judging the guacamole contest. But before I bestow the crown on the champ, I'm meeting up with last years winner, Andy, to get the inside scoop. I'm gonna be judging, so I need to know what are the ingredients for a perfect guacamole? What are your secrets? I want to make a good one.
- Honestly, we make a really really simple guacamole at El Jardin, it's not a complicated one. The best thing you can do to make a really good guacamole is to start with the absolute best avocado. This avocado is from a very small boutique grower, the only herminger in Fallbrook. You add all the ingredients before you mash.
- [Amy] Onions.
- So we're gonna use about, yup, third cup of chopped onion, then we're gonna use about a quarter bunch of cilantro.
- Smells good.
- Some garlic powder and a table spoon of the pepper and a tablespoon of the salt. And then were gonna add some fresh garlic as well so we get it really nice.
- Then the tomatoes go in.
- I know, get em in there.
- Alright, going in.
- We use a little bit of our salsa that we make at El Jardin. So we're gonna use most of this here.
- [Amy] It's coming together, it looks so pretty just as it is you don't even have to turn it into guacamole. A masher?
- Yeah a masher for sure.
- I can already smell the garlic and the cilantro. Oh yeah, this looks great.
- Mix and blend so you make sure all the spices and everything are like kind of evenly proportioned.
- Well, that looks pretty good.
- Looks pretty good. Beautiful. You want to try this?
- Oh I can try it. Yes okay. Yum. Oh I can definitely taste that seasoning.
- We want the main feature when you taste this guacamole to be the really expensive good avocado that we buy all the time.
- Oh yeah. The guacamole competition is about to start, but first I've gotta run over to the real contest of the day and bring home a trophy.
- For the best dressed avocado contest, in third place we have Marisa Solis.
- I know, I know what you're thinking, I shouldn't be competing against little kids. Perhaps you're right, but right now I need to find out if I missed my category.
- And in second place we have, Diego, Aalyah, M'Kai and Marquese. And first place we have Jessica Fesmon. And now for our prettiest avocado category. And in third place, Noah Potts. In second place, Judith. In first place, we have Ella Williams.
- Apparently this big kids avocado wasn't good enough for the prettiest, but that's okay I'm proud, I'm proud of us. Me and my Afrocado. There is no better consolation than filling your belly up with creamy, spicy guacamole and turning the table and being a judge. Hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I like it though.
- I do too.
- It's tough business judging. All these dishes are uniquely delicious and its gonna be hard to choose the best one.
- We're gonna eat a lot of guacamole, we've got a lot more to go.
- For the first place, for the best, tasty and professional guacamole, goes to Miguel Ramirez, P4.
- I might not be coming home with a trophy, but I'm leaving as a winner. Who would have thought a small time avocado festival would have brought out the kid in me? There's nothing better than food to remind you to be young at heart. And now I'm gonna finish it off with some avocado ice-cream. Until next time, bye guys!
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