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What's in your garden, Fallbrook?


Last updated 4/13/2020 at 5:07am

Sandra Orozco is the chef of Cultura con Sabor in Rainbow where she does hands-on workshops in Rainbow.

Maggie Stewart

Special to Village News

It's almost that time of year again, for the annual Fallbrook Avocado Festival. Residents look forward to this time for the street food aroma and deliciousness, numerous vendors selling interesting must have gadgets and clothing, the Art of the Avocado and the famous Guacamole Contest. Alas, it had to be canceled this year, so that everyone can stay home and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

To say that being quarantined in a place like Fallbrook is a blessing is not an understatement. It's a warm 70 degrees today, and there is so much growing.

The avocados are ripening nicely; the lemons are gleaming sunshine yellow and, if you're lucky, you may have some jalapenos in your garden bed.

We are fortunate to purchase food from our local markets, be it Major Market, Gonzalez Market, El Toro, Albertsons or Eli's farm stand. They are all open and working hard to have products and fresh food available to shoppers.

So, I say, let's bring the festival home. Make a favorite guacamole recipe or try Sandra Orozco's award-winning, best-tasting guacamole from 2018 and 2019. She is the chef of Cultura con Sabor and does hands-on workshops in Rainbow.

Workshop attendees learn not only how to create delicious food, but the history of the food and what goes in it. There are recipes that are made with indigenous plants, before the European influence. There is adaptation and growth of cultural influences that change and create new flavors.

Let me share a little about Orozco. She has been cooking since she was 10. Her grandma cooked on an open fire outside. Orozco still thinks of the smokey smell as her grandma's perfume. Her first job was to help with a community event that went on for days.

High school was not free where she grew up. She worked in a food factory that created formulas and taste testing so she could pay for school. She traded cooking meals for cleaning, as cooking was her true passion.

When she came to the United States and married, she realized child care for her boys cost more than her income. She decided on a business model, to bake and decorate cakes and to babysit at home.

Finally, she had an opportunity to attend culinary school at Long Beach City College. Staying current and running a business is not enough. Orozco visits with chefs in Mexico who are gathering and cooking recipes that are now recognized by UNESCO as Treasures of Humanity.

Try her Guacamole Mestizo or Azteca recipe. When the coronavirus pandemic has passed and everyone can enjoy the beautiful countryside freely, sign up for a workshop. Enjoy another treasure in the community, Cultura con Sabor.

In the meantime, visit Orozco's Facebook page at

Guacamole Mestizo

Start to finish: 20 minutes

Serves: 4


4 large avocados

1 cup diced tomatoes, cut into 1/4-1/2-inch cubes

1 cup diced onion, cut into 1/4-1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup of loose chopped cilantro

1 jalapeño pepper diced smaller

Sandra Orozco's Guacamole Mestizo includes onion and cilantro.

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 lemon for squeeze


Cut the avocados in half, remove the meat with a spoon, then cut them into a medium size dice, and put them in a small bowl. Add the tomatoes, onion, cilantro and jalapeño. Mix all the ingredients together, add the juice of the 1/2 lemon, salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe is Mestizo because it includes the onion and cilantro from Asia.

For Guacamole Azteca, leave out the onion and cilantro and add maybe a little more jalapeño, because all of these ingredients originate in the place now called México.

Maggie Stewart works for CR Properties Real Estate Services and is a family farm-to-table specialist. She can be reached at (760) 703-4788.


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