Carpinteria Luscious: Avocado Festival

Get your fill of great guac, and then some, near the beach.

IF THAT SMOOTHIE YOU'RE SIPPING... or that zucchini bread you're munching or that banana chocolate cookie you're enjoying feels a little more lush and flavor-deep, it could very well have an interesting ingredient of the green 'n creamy sort: avocado. We live in inventive times, and certainly on the culinary front, and guacamole's star fruit is no longer relegated to just a handful of delicious dishes. There was a day when avo-goodness was only seen in slices topping a sandwich, or as the heart of one of the world's superstar dips. Now? It can show up everywhere, from pastas to desserts, lending depth and a fullness that the dish didn't quite have pre-avocado. It's a pretty big deal, that oblong, bumpily-of-skin produce aisle favorite, and it has a few yearly parties on the calendar 'round the Golden State. One of the most mondo? It's the California Avocado Festival, and it will once again bring the chunky-creamy dream scene to pretty Carpinteria over a pretty fall weekend. That weekend in 2016 is...

FRIDAY, OCT. 7 THROUGH SUNDAY, OCT. 9, and, as you can correctly imagine, all sorts of avocado-based bites'll be out in full, try-'em-all force. This includes a bouquet of guacs, in all styles, yes, but also avocado dressings, avocado breads, and, yes, avocado ice cream, always a talked-about treat at the fest. There are a few contests, like World's Largest Avocado, and some guacamole-y action, but look for a couple of new competitions, including one that involves holding a big bag of avos for an extended period of time. Oh yeah, and avocado juggling, too. Can you do that? Or can you simply stroll around and snack upon all the guac you can take? Because most avocado aficionados, let's be frank, count guacamole as a daily, must-have foodstuff. And for fine reason: It's probably like the planet's best chip-dipper, and if that isn't in the official fact books it probably will be one day. Carp's your destination, avos are the reason, good-timing-having is the rule of the weekend.

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