“Mockamole” is what a trade war with Mexico would taste like

Green gold.
Green gold.
Image: AP Photo/Matthew Mead
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This week patrons at Chacho’s Tex-Mex restaurant in San Antonio, got a taste of how dreary existence would be without avocados.

Instead of its fresh guacamole, the 24/7 eatery offered “mockamole,” a concoction of broccoli, green peas, and other green veggies designed to make up for a shortage of the popular fruit, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

A notice informed customers of the unsavory news: “Temporarily there are no avocados available for us to buy. Consequently, we cannot make or sell guacamole.”

The disruption was only temporary, due to a lull in production between avocado seasons in Mexico, management told the newspaper. Though they deemed their invention a “pretty good tasting product,” they said they were hoping not to see a repeat of the situation in the future.

That unappetizing scenario, however, could become more common should US president Donald Trump launch a trade war with Mexico.

Most of the avocados that grace toast and enchilada plates in the US hail from south of the border. The avocado market has already been hit by Trumpian threats to tax Mexican products. Last month prices jumped after Trump declared he would impose import tariffs if the Mexican government did not intercept more immigrants before they reached the US.

A smaller-than-average crop from California isn’t helping. This week, a box of Hass avocados from Michoacán cost 680 Mexican pesos (roughly $35) at Mexico City’s wholesale market, nearly 90% more than last year.

But there’s also some good news for avocado lovers. Mexican producers and packers said this week they expect to send more than a million tons of the “green gold” to the US this season, about 5% (link in Spanish) more than last year.

At the US-Mexico border, agents are catching significantly fewer immigrants these days, which should tone down Trump’s protectionist impulses somewhat.

That could quickly change, though, if more immigrants try to cross into the US once the summer heat dies out, as happens every year. It’s also unclear when or if the US Congress will approve the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the deal hammered to replace NAFTA.

So “mockamole” and other similar products could make a comeback.