Guac-pocalypse Now With Robert Earl Keen

Nov 22, 2019

In the first season of Queer Eye, previous Ask Me Another guest Antoni Porowski broke the Internet by making guacamole with Greek yogurt. Inspired by this, singer-songwriter and Tex-Mex fan Robert Earl Keen tackles questions about other guac-troversies.

Heard on Robert Earl Keen: Texas Troubadour.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

So let's keep rolling with the Tex-Mex theme with a game about guacamole. And to play it, please welcome back our special guest, musician Robert Earl Keen.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: So, Robert, you recommended a restaurant for us to eat at.

ROBERT EARL KEEN: Yes, Mi Tierra.

EISENBERG: Mi Tierra, and...

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: We went there last night.

KEEN: Yes. And?

EISENBERG: We had margaritas.

KEEN: Yeah.

EISENBERG: We had, like, basically one of everything on the menu.

KEEN: Yes.

EISENBERG: It was delicious - tons of chips.

KEEN: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: And it was - and pastries.

KEEN: Yeah?

EISENBERG: They have amazing pastries. It was - and it was a...

KEEN: Songs? Did anyone...

EISENBERG: Songs - we had songs.

KEEN: Oh, yeah.

EISENBERG: It was a great experience.

KEEN: I know. I always get those guys to - like I always tell them, look; I want to hear the saddest song you know, you know?

(LAUGHTER)

KEEN: And they look at me, like, really weird, you know, because they're always playing happy songs. They're not...

EISENBERG: We asked for a happy song.

KEEN: Yeah.

EISENBERG: They're like, what kind of song you want?

KEEN: So I go, muy triste, muy triste.

(LAUGHTER)

KEEN: And so one time, I kept, you know, hounding them. And they finally played one. And two of the guys started crying in the middle of it.

(LAUGHTER)

KEEN: It was a pretty cool experience.

EISENBERG: Are you kidding?

KEEN: Yeah, no. I'm - no. It's a pretty cool experience, you know? There was - man, when they want to play a sad song, they can play a sad song, you know?

EISENBERG: Wow.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: You...

KEEN: I mean, if my Spanish was any better, I would've been crying.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: You got some theater. You got some theater in there.

KEEN: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: OK. So I also understand that you love to cook. What is your specialty?

KEEN: Well, you know, I don't know - just anything that's in the icebox, basically.

EISENBERG: Nice.

KEEN: I mean, I'm pretty good at that, like, let me make this out of this, you know?

EISENBERG: That's great. How do you feel about guacamole?

KEEN: I love guacamole.

EISENBERG: Do you make your own?

KEEN: I make my own.

EISENBERG: OK.

KEEN: Absolutely.

EISENBERG: So here's the deal. We - our previous guest from the Netflix show "Queer Eye" Antoni Porowski famously riled up the Internet by putting Greek yogurt in guacamole.

(GROANING)

EISENBERG: I know. I know. People are...

KEEN: Thank you, San Antonio.

(LAUGHTER)

KEEN: Yeah.

EISENBERG: But it turns out there are loads of examples of unconventional ingredients that people put in guacamole and anger the Internet and the people at large. So...

KEEN: Yeah, I can understand that.

EISENBERG: So we have a game about it. All you have to do is guess the controversial ingredient I'm talking about in this game called Guac-pocalypse Now.

KEEN: Guac-pocalypse Now.

(LAUGHTER)

KEEN: OK, OK, OK.

EISENBERG: Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, raised eyebrows when she revealed the secret to keeping her guacamole green. Instead of adding a bit of lime juice, she adds a lot of what freshly squeezed juice?

KEEN: And who is this?

EISENBERG: It's...

(LAUGHTER)

KEEN: ...Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: It's - there's a television show. She's a...

KEEN: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

KEEN: OK.

EISENBERG: Citrus fruit she squeezes in there, but it's not lime.

KEEN: It's a lemon.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

KEEN: Oh.

EISENBERG: I know.

KEEN: Wow.

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's it. And, you know, purists are mad.

KEEN: I mean, that - I wouldn't even think about that. I mean, like, I look over there in the little fruit bowl, and there's no green things over there, I'd grab the yellow thing.

EISENBERG: Yeah (laughter).

KEEN: Yeah (laughter).

EISENBERG: Oh. Oh, people are mad.

KEEN: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Avocado prices have been going up lately. And NPR interviewed a food writer who learned that some LA taquerias are saving money by making guac without avocado - I know...

(BOOING)

EISENBERG: ...Substituting with what ingredient instead?

KEEN: This is not a multiple choice thing?

EISENBERG: No.

KEEN: OK.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I'll give you a hint.

KEEN: All right.

EISENBERG: Butternut.

KEEN: Butternuts?

EISENBERG: Keep going.

(LAUGHTER)

KEEN: Wow. OK. OK, squash.

EISENBERG: Yeah, I knew you knew. I knew you were playing me, but I love it.

KEEN: All right (laughter).

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Yeah, calabacitas squash, matter of fact.

KEEN: OK.

EISENBERG: Yeah. This writer said that after a side-by-side taste test, he could barely tell the difference between the squash one and the avocado one (laughter).

(BOOING)

KEEN: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Who knows?

KEEN: Does he work for Birds Eye or something?

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Yeah, maybe.

(LAUGHTER)

KEEN: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Maybe.

KEEN: All right.

EISENBERG: In 2014, Bon Appetit suggested adding a little crunch and a lot of fiber to your guacamole by throwing in a finely chopped stalk of what vegetable?

KEEN: Finely chopped stalk...

EISENBERG: Yeah.

KEEN: ...Of what vegetable?

EISENBERG: Yeah.

KEEN: Celery.

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's right, of course.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: And here is your last clue. In 2015, in response to a controversial recipe published by The New York Times, even Barack Obama tweeted that he was not buying what as an ingredient in guacamole? Little, tiny green rounds.

KEEN: Peas.

EISENBERG: Peas, yes.

KEEN: Oh, my God.

EISENBERG: Peas and guacamole - gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF MENAHAN STREET BAND'S "MAKE THE ROAD BY WALKING")

EISENBERG: Robert, you did great. You can see Robert Earl Keen's Countdown to Christmas tour, Lunar Tunes and Looney Times, this December. Give it up for Robert Earl Keen.

KEEN: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.