Mexico is a country obsessed with breaking world records – albeit obscure ones – and on Sunday around 1,000 volunteers in the state of Jalisco stirred up the largest batch of guacamole ever. More than 600 students from a local culinary school and 400 people from a nearby town helped peel, mash and mix some 25,000 avocados to make 6,600 pounds of the green dip.
Jalisco’s governor was on hand to receive the official recognition presented by a representative from the Guinness Book of World Records.
The gigantic guacamole is only the latest in a slew of world records that has been set in Mexico over the last few years.
From the most people kissing simultaneously (39,897 people on Valentine’s Day 2009) to the largest pork taco (about 240 feet long and weighing 330,000 pounds in November 2011), the country under siege by a bloody drug war is on a mission to be known as something else: the country that has the largest, the biggest and the most of everything.
Besides holding the world’s record for most people kissing at the same time, the country also holds the record for the most people hugging at the same time. And a year before dancers in Guadalajara grabbed the 2011 folk dancing record, another local group claimed “most people twirling lassos simultaneously.”
And so hundreds, sometimes thousands, at a time descend on Mexico to try to break the record for the world’s largest zombie walk (about 9,800 people in November 2011) or the most mariachi musicians ever gathered in one place (about 549 in August 2009) or whatever record the country is trying to break at that moment.
Some, like former Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Jorge Castañeda, deride the world record push and say it is troublesome.
“As a people, Mexicans shun genuine competition,” Castañeda wrote in the Los Angeles Times. “Claiming Guinness records is a way of winning something without actually having to compete one-on-one.”
But others say that Guinness offers escapist fun. Consuming the world’s largest cheesecake distracts from Mexico’s real problems: the drug war’s rising death toll and the country’s rampant corruption.
Likewise, some believe Mexico’s record-seeking is a push for attention in a world that doesn’t take it seriously.
Guinness’s own analysis is less harsh.